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Draft: The Habs are really moving away from the 17th overall pick

It’s amazing how quickly things can change in life.

A few months ago, we were salivating at the idea of having two top-10 picks in the next NHL draft. It’s true that, in the end, it would have been completely crazy, given that the 2023 draft promises to be more than excellent…

But things are different now. The Panthers pulled out their claws in the final stretch of the season to qualify for the playoffs. And, even though they were a long shot, they’re surprising just about everyone with their 3-0 lead over the Toronto Leafs.

As a reminder, the Canadiens also hold the Florida Panthers’ first-round pick, acquired in the Ben Chiarot deal. Anyway, I’m sure you already knew that.

All this to say that, right now, the chances are that the Canadiens have a very good pick, as well as another late first-round pick. In fact, if the Panthers make it past the second round, which seems to be the case at the moment…

The initial pick (17th) will drop and could be between 29th and 32nd, depending on what happens next.

(Credit: Tankathon)

Some say that’s okay, because at least the club will already have a guaranteed top-10 pick. Yes, but… No.

There’s a difference between a 17th overall pick and one between 29th and 32nd. Especially in a talented draft like this one. If Kent Hughes ever wants to negotiate with other teams, the 17th pick is much, much more valuable on the trade market… And we know there’s a real possibility that this pick could be traded, if Kent Hughes is to be believed.

Remember that, at the end-of-season review, he said out loud that he might want to make a Kirby Dach-style trade at the next draft. The Panthers’ choice plays a huge role in this.

But the Habs don’t have their fate in their own hands. After all, it’s not as if Kent Hughes can do much to limit the Panthers’ chances of reaching the conference finals.

But that’s just the way it is.

Speaking of the draft!

Tonight is the lottery to determine which team will have the chance to draft first overall and get their hands on a certain Connor Bedard.

Promising, let’s put it that way.

Imagine if the Canad… Ah well, never mind.


– They’re in familiar territory.

– I like his mentality.

– He was emotional. And rightly so.

– Right. Another case.

– Damn. Too bad for the Quebecer.

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