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Montreal Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier leaves draft feeling optimistic

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - One day after drafting Jarred Tinordi in the first round, Montreal Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier was still raving about the selection.

"He's a big strong defenceman like that with a lot of character and leadership, that's something that every team would look for," Gauthier said Saturday.

The veteran executive had a fairly quiet second day at the draft. His next pick didn't come until the fourth round, when he chose forward Mark MacMillan 113th overall.

The other players Montreal selected on Saturday were:

—defenceman Morgan Ellis, 117th overall, from the QMJHL's Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

—winger Brendan Gallagher, 147th overall, from the WHL's Vancouver Giants.

—winger John Westin, 207th overall, from the Modo junior team in Sweden.

As Gauthier left the Staples Center, he was already looking ahead to an off-season that should be much less tumultuous than the last one. He's feeling optimistic about next year.

"It's not like last summer, where there was going to be a lot of changes and everybody knew it," said Gauthier. "We've had a year with this team and so we know a lot more about them. We feel a lot more confident about our team."

His top priority is getting goalie Carey Price's name on a contract. He's a restricted free agent this summer and Gauthier expects to start negotiations soon.

"We need a goalie at training camp so we better sign him," said Gauthier.

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