Canadiens willing to trade 5th overall pick if 1 player is gone

May 21, 2024  (3:33 PM)

Kent Hughes
Photo credit: NHL

The Montreal Canadiens selected David Reinbacher fifth overall in 2023 and Juraj Slafkovsky first overall in 2022, this year they will once again have a top-five pick in the NHL Entry Draft for the third straight year.

The Montreal Canadiens would prefer to use their fifth-overall pick this year to pursue a forward, but could Kent Hughes move back given that the top ten is anticipated to be heavily stacked with defensive players? Well, that is conceivable, according to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period.
"Other teams aren't buying that mindset just yet and seem to think a lot of Montreal's decisions this summer will be determined around or during the NHL Draft, specifically if Cayden Lindstrom is or isn't available at No.5.

Lindstrom is ranked third among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting after projected first-overall pick Macklin Celebrini and defenceman Artyom Levshunov. On the international side, the top three is led by defenceman Anton Silayev, followed by right wing Ivan Demidov at No.2 and centre Konsta Helenius at No.3. There is growing belief Lindstrom is high on Montreal's draft board, but if he's not available at the fifth-overall slot, Hughes could move the pick." Pagnotta said.

Because he likes to make a huge statement, Kent Hughes and the Montreal Canadiens are always a fun club to watch at the draft. Hughes received the 13th overall pick in 2022 after trading Alexander Romanov to the New York Islanders, which he then moved to Chicago in exchange for Kirby Dach. Then, during draft week of the previous year, he added Colorado Avalanche player Alex Newhook.
Without a doubt, Kent Hughes' first objective will be acquiring a top-six forward with the ability to put the puck in the net, regardless of whether they can do this through a trade involving their fifth overall pick at the draft or by hanging onto one of their many promising defensive prospects. In recent weeks and months, the Canadiens have been linked to several players in the league, including Trevor Zegras of the Anaheim Ducks, who may be able to rekindle his relationship with Cole Caufield. Both the World Juniors and the current World Championship in Czechia include the two as teammates.
The NHL Entry Draft is in just over a month, so it will be fascinating to see if Kent Hughes and the management team head to The Sphere in Vegas, or if they stay home and bring in another player instead.
MAY 21   |   159 ANSWERS
Canadiens willing to trade 5th overall pick if 1 player is gone

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