Logan Mailloux said he was surprised to be selected in the 2021 NHL Draft after asking to be withdrawn from consideration this week because of a criminal conviction while playing in Sweden.
The 18-year-old defenseman was chosen by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round (No. 31) on Friday.
“I do not think that I earned the right to be drafted,” Mailloux said Saturday. “I just think my main goal is bettering myself as a person and as a character and [from] a community standpoint moving forward.
“And if that’s going to be in Montreal, then I’m going to be looking forward to it.”
Mailloux said he regretted the actions he took in November, which led to the conviction when he was playing for SK Lejon in Sweden’s third division. He was also fined for invasion of privacy and defamation.
“During an intimate moment with a young woman, I took a picture of us without her consent,” Mailloux said in a statement to begin his media availability. “I sent it to my teammates to impress them. It was totally irresponsible and a stupid act that I committed without thinking twice. For that lack of judgment on my part I was fined by Swedish law.
“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. What I did now is unfortunately a part of both her life and mine. I have apologized to her, but nonetheless, this will follow her for the rest of her life. And for that, I deeply and sincerely regret it.”
Mailloux said he had had multiple meetings and interviews with Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin throughout the year leading up to the draft but did not talk to him after asking on social media Tuesday that he not be selected. He was ranked No. 23 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
“We will work closely with him, give him the support he needs to — and I know he’s been remorseful about the incident, which we truly don’t agree with it in all sense of the word,” Bergevin said Friday. “But he’s a young man who made a serious mistake of judgment, and we really have to work with him, and we did talk to him and he’s fully aware of that and very remorseful.”
Remorseful was a word that was used again and again by Mailloux and Bergevin. Mailloux said he believed being drafted by Montreal, despite the spotlight, is something that will help him in both the short and long term.
“I hope the fans there do learn to accept me,” he said. “I do feel remorseful and I hope that, not only the girl, but the whole fan base knows that as well. This was a stupid mistake that I made. An immature mistake. I think that being in Montreal at the same time, I think it’s going to be very good for me personally, on a personal standpoint, for my development [and] character.”
Mailloux said he would have to earn the trust of the fans and the organization, saying, “It’s not something that should be given to me at all.”
“At this point I just hope that [the woman] does know that I am sincere about this,” he said. “I am really sorry. It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever done, and I know that it impacted her life. And I just hope that she knows how remorseful I feel and that I do feel sorry about it.”
Mailloux said he has been in counseling with a therapist for months.
“At this moment, I’m just continuing my counseling, and I don’t have a plan set out specifically,” he said. “But I know that in the near future, I’m definitely going to be doing some steps and taking some actions to sort of better myself and the community as much as I can.”