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Canadian prime minister criticizes Canadiens for draft pick

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MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 30: A detail of the Montreal Canadiens logo is seen during the third period against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on January 30, 2021 in Montreal, Canada. The Calgary Flames defeated the Montreal Canadiens 2-0. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

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MONTREAL — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday he was not happy with the decision by the Montreal Canadiens to draft an 18-year-old player who was fined in Sweden for sharing an explicit photo of a woman without her consent.

The Canadiens chose Logan Mailloux in the first round of the draft on Friday night. He was fined by Swedish authorities in December after admitting to two charges related to sharing a photo of a woman performing a sexual act. The photo was taken last year while he was playing in Sweden.

Mailloux was charged with defamation and offensive photography and was fined approximately $1,650.

“As a lifelong Habs fan, I have to say I am deeply disappointed by the decision. I think it was a lack of judgment by the Canadiens organization,” Trudeau said. “I think they have a lot of explaining to do, to Montrealers and to fans from right across the country.”

Mailloux, a defenseman with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, had asked that no NHL teams draft him this year and said sharing the photo with teammates was “stupid” and “irresponsible.” He said he didn’t believe he had demonstrated strong enough maturity or character to earn the privilege of being selected.

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin told reporters that the gap between Mailloux and the next best player the team could have picked was too large to ignore and believes that Mailloux would have been drafted by another team if the Canadiens hadn’t picked him with the 31st selection of the first round.