Trudeau disappointed by Habs’ Mailloux draft pick

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he’s “deeply disappointed” in the Montreal Canadiens‘ decision to select Logan Mailloux in the first round of the 2021 NHL draft last weekend.

The Canadiens shocked the hockey world Friday night by selecting Mailloux, an 18-year-old defenseman. He had “renounced” himself from the draft earlier in the week after multiple news reports covered an incident in Sweden in which he showed teammates a photo that depicted him and a woman engaged in a consensual sexual act.

The photo was taken without the consent of the woman, who went to local police. Mailloux was fined but not arrested for invasion of privacy and defamation.

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

Trudeau is perhaps the most high-profile critic of the pick, but the selection of Mailloux has been widely criticized by fans and media. That criticism only grew when Mailloux did an about-face and embraced the Canadiens’ selection of him with the 30th pick in the first round, saying that working with Montreal would assist him in his “betterment” as a person.

“It was totally irresponsible and a stupid act that I committed without thinking twice. I know I caused a lot of harm to this person and her family, and I regret doing this stupid and egotistical act. I deeply regret it,” he said in a statement before answering questions Saturday morning. “What I did is now unfortunately a part of both of her life and mine. I’ve apologized to her, but nonetheless this will follow her for the rest of her life. For that, I deeply and sincerely regret it.”

The team continues to face backlash against the pick. CBC news reports that the Jean Coutu pharmacy chain, the St-Hubert restaurant chain and the financial services cooperative Desjardins Group — all Canadiens sponsors — have released statements “saying they are rethinking their relationship with the Canadiens.”

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