Montreal Canadiens general manager admitted today ( back in 2014 ) that he wanted to select Morgan Rielly in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, and not Alex Galchenyuk.

According to Sportsnet reporter Chris Johnston, Bergevin said he would have taken Rielly with the third overall pick, as a rookie GM, but listened to his veteran scouts and elected to take Galchenyuk with the pick.

If you recall, the Habs were coming off a putrid 2011-12 season in which they finished last in the Eastern Conference and 28th overall in the NHL. Due to their awful regular season they were granted the third overall pick in the 2012 draft.

Bergevin was hired as the Canadiens general manager that summer, and his first major decision was who to take in the draft. Galchenyuk had been injured with a torn ACL, had knee surgery, and was actually held pointless in just two games in his draft season.

Galchenyuk had scored 83 points in 68 games as a 17 year old, but the Habs were taking quite a risk adding a player who missed almost the entire season with a knee injury. It would have been easy for Bergevin to overrule his scouts and go with Rielly, but he had been injured in his draft year as well.
Rielly, an offensive minded defenseman, scored 18 points in 18 games that season and added three assists in five postseason games. Rielly was eventually picked fifth overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs, with the Habs of course settling on Galchenyuk.

Rielly scored 27 points in 73 games as a rookie last season, while Galchenyuk jumped directly into the NHL in the lockout shortened 2012-13 season, scoring 27 points in 48 games.

Rielly is a good young player, and could develop into an excellent offensive defenseman. Had the Canadiens picked him, they would be lucky to have him on their team.


However, with young defensemen like Nathan Beaulieu and Jarred Tinordi, the Habs already have a bright future on the blue line. Considering that Galchenyuk appears to be breaking out offensively this year, with 13 points in 19 games, and an extremely bright future ahead of him, I think Bergevin made the right decision to trust his scouts on this one.