Habs get some much needed height

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:55 PM ET

LOS ANGELES - At 6-foot-5, Jarred Tinordi has already made a contribution to the Montreal Canadiens.

Hell bring up the average height for the club which has one of the smallest group of forwards in the NHL.

Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier made a deal to move up in the NHL draft Friday night, trading the 27th pick and the 57th pick to the Phoenix Coyotes for the 22nd selection and the 113th pick.

The Canadiens then used the 22nd pick to take Tinordi, the son of former NHL defenceman Mark Tinordi.

I came into the NHL at 204 (pounds) at 21 (years of age). Hes already 212 at 18, so hes way ahead of where I was, said Mark, who played 663 games for Minnesota North Stars, Dallas Stars and Washington Capitals.

Hes a much better skater than I ever was.

Jarred played much of his minor hockey in the Washington area where the competition level wasnt that high, so Mark figures his son, who has played the last couple of years in the U.S. National Team Development Program, needs some time to grow and mature.

Jarred is set to go to the University of Notre Dame, though his major junior rights are owned by the London Knights of the OHL. The Hunter brothers, who run the Knights, can be persuasive guys, but it sounds like they might have a tough time convincing the Tinordis the Knights are the way to go right away.

Its a consideration. I would take what (the Habs) have to say, take their advice into the decision. I have to talk about it with my family, said Jarred.

I dont know. Hes always loved Notre Dame, said Mark. That will be a discussion with his new GM and coach. Im up in the air. I grew up playing junior hockey and at 18, I know there are a lot of temptations. I just want him to be happy and get better.

Gauthier said he would leave the decision of where Jarred would play next year up to the family.

He was pretty high on our priority list and that list was slipping, said Gauthier of why he made the trade. Hes a big defenceman who can skate and he was the captain of his team. We wanted this player. He was one of our upside guys we were looking at and we paid the price and got one of those upside guys.

Gauthier said the personal relationship between Mark and former Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey also played a role in the selection. Gainey coached Mark on the Minnesota North Stars team that went to the final in 1991 and the Habs knew the quality of the family.

Its part of the decision, said Gauthier. Bob coached the father and it comes into it, of course.

Scouts say Tinordi has average puck skills and his game will be to play with a physical edge. He could wind up being better than 230 pounds.

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca


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