The Montreal Canadiens used the 26th overall choice in the 2014 NHL entry draft Friday in Philadelphia to pluck forward Nikita Scherbak, a 6’1”, 175 lb, 18-year-old Russian who suited up as a rookie for the last-placed Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League last season.

GM Marc Bergevin appeared happy to get a crack at the crafty Moscow-born forward when interviewed following the pick.

“We had him higher than we picked him. When he kept sliding we made the decision to go ahead and make the pick. It’s somebody we feel is a top skilled talent with a good frame to build upon. With the success of Galchenyuk, Markov and Emelin, we have a good group of Russian players,” said Bergevin in an interview with TSN.

There’s little chance of the youngster suiting up for the Habs next season, however.

“We not going to rush him to the NHL, we believe the road to Montreal goes through the farm team,” said Bergevin.

Habs' chief scout Trevor Timmins compared Scherbak to Alex Galchenyuk, although with a considerably lower profile, as he was only chosen 109 in the draft to enter the Western Hockey league, where he notched 28 goals and 50 assists for 78 points in 65 games, well ahead of anybody else on the same team.

“It’s a great day,” Scherbak told RDS in a heavy Russian accent, “I’m so nervous. It was my first year in Saskatoon. It was a tough year and I think I played a good season.”

Later in a separate interview he told TSN that he doesn't think about points, even though he scored 21 more than any other WHL rookie last season, in spite of going second-to-last in the import draft to enter the league.

“I just go to practice every day and think, 'I need to go in the first round.' It’s my dream, I need to play in the NHL. Every day I think about playing in the NHL.”

TSN’s Bob McKenzie noted, however, that Scherbak has not developed great skills on the defensive side of play.

Last year the Canadiens chose 25th and selected hulking 6'6", 238 lb American forward Michael McCarron, who had a disappointing 34 points in 66 games for the London Knights of the OHL last season.

The draft continues Saturday in Philadelphia.