Montreal Canadiens 5th overall pick reportedly in play

Samer Dagher
May 21, 2024  (8:59 PM)

Montreal Canadiens GM Kent Hughes
Photo credit: Sportsnet

The Montreal Canadiens could potentially move their 5th overall draft pick this year according to insider David Pagnotta from The Fourth Period.

For the third consecutive season, the Montreal Canadiens will have a top-five pick in the NHL Entry Draft. They previously selected Juraj Slafkovsky first overall in 2022 and David Reinbacher fifth overall in 2023.
This year, the Canadiens ideally want to target a forward with their fifth-overall pick. However, since this year's top ten is expected to be defensive-heavy, there is speculation that General Manager Kent Hughes might trade back. According to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, this is a possibility.
"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.

Kent Hughes and the Canadiens are always a team to watch at the draft because he likes to make big moves. In 2022, Hughes traded Alexander Romanov to the New York Islanders for the 13th overall pick, which he then traded to Chicago for Kirby Dach. Last year, during draft week, he brought in Alex Newhook from the Colorado Avalanche.
Hughes' priority is to acquire a top-six forward who can score. Whether he achieves this through a trade involving their fifth-overall pick or by trading one of their young defensive prospects, it's clear the Canadiens are focused on boosting their offense. They have been linked to several forwards recently, including Trevor Zegras of the Anaheim Ducks. Zegras has previously shown chemistry with Cole Caufield, as they were teammates at the World Juniors and are currently playing together at the World Championship in Czechia.
With just over a month until the NHL Entry Draft, it will be interesting to see if Hughes and the management team will keep their fifth pick or trade back to add another asset. Keep an eye on the Canadiens as they prepare for this pivotal moment.
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Montreal Canadiens could reportedly trade 5th overall pick
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Montreal Canadiens 5th overall pick reportedly in play

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