There were a handful of “off the board” picks in the First Round of the 2021 NHL draft on Friday night but none of them were as shocking as the Montreal Canadiens decision to select Logan Mailloux with the 31st overall pick.
It is shocking because Mailloux had stated this week that he wanted to be excluded from the draft process following a 2020 conviction in Sweden for taking and circulating a photo of a woman performing a sex act without her consent.
Mailloux was fined for “Kränkande fotografering” (offensive photography constituting an invasion of privacy) and “Förtal” (defamation) while playing in Sweden. He was on loan from the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.
Once surface of the conviction surfaced before the draft, Mailloux issued a statement explaining why he wanted to be removed from draft consideration.
“Being drafted into the NHL is an honour and a privilege that no one takes lightly. The NHL Draft should be one of the most exciting landmark moments in a player’s career, and given the circumstances I don’t feel I have demonstrated strong enough maturity or character to earn that privilege in the 2021 Draft. If I were to ever have the honour of being selected I would want a fanbase to be proud to welcome me to their organization. I know it will take time for society to build back the trust I have lost, and that is why I think it is best that I renounce myself from the 2021 NHL Draft and ask that no one select me this upcoming weekend. I feel that this would allow me the opportunity to demonstrate an adequate level of maturity and character next season with the London Knights in the OHL and provide all the NHL teams the opportunity to reassess my character towards the 2022 NHL Draft.”
The Canadiens were obviously not one of those teams.
Immediately following the selection the Canadiens released the following statement.
By drafting prospect Logan Mailloux with the 31st overall pick, the Montreal Canadiens organization not only selected a promising hockey player, but also a young man who recently admitted to making a serious mistake. The Canadiens are aware of the situation and by no means minimize the severity of Logan’s actions. Logan understands the impact of his actions. His recent public statement is a genuine acknowledgement of his poor behaviour and the first step on his personal journey.
We are making a commitment to accompany Logan on his journey by providing him with the tools to mature and the necessary support to guide him in his development. We are also committed to raising awareness among our players about the repercussions of their actions on the lives of others.
Mailloux was considered a First Round prospect in this draft, but several teams reportedly removed him from their draft boards following news of his conviction.
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.