MONTREAL – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that he’s “deeply disappointed” by the team’s selection of Logan Mailloux in the NHL draft as a lifelong Montreal Canadiens fan.
Mailloux, who the Canadiens picked on July 23, was fined by a Swedish court last year after being convicted of charges related to sharing, without her consent, a photo of a woman performing a sexual act.
Trudeau told reporters in Moncton, N.B., today that the Canadiens organization showed a lack of judgment by drafting Mailloux and that the team owes an explanation to fans.
“As a lifelong Habs fan I have to say, I am deeply disappointed by the decision,” Trudeau said. “I think it was a lack of judgment by the Canadiens organization. I think they have a lot of explaining to do for Montrealers and fans right across the country.”
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The 18-year-old Mailloux, who had asked teams not to draft him, told reporters on Saturday that sharing the photo was “stupid” and “irresponsible.”
Being drafted into the NHL is an “honour and a privilege,” he wrote in the statement, adding he didn’t feel that he has “demonstrated strong enough maturity or character to earn that privilege in the 2021 Draft.”
“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 with the opportunity to reassess my character towards the 2022 NHL Draft.”
The selection of Mailloux has also been criticized by Isabelle Charest, Quebec’s minister responsible for the status of women, and by organizations that work with women who are victims of sexual violence.
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin told reporters Saturday that the gap between Mailloux and the next best player the Habs could have picked was too large to ignore and that he believes the defenceman would have been drafted by another team if the Canadiens hadn’t picked him.