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Draft debate: Axel Sandin Pellikka or David Reinbacher as first defenseman

Axel Sandin Pellikka’s name is becoming increasingly popular for the upcoming draft. The Swedish prospect is a right-handed defenseman with the offensive talent to run a power play.

A scout polled by TVA Sports likes him.

It’s a rare quality for a defenseman to be so offensive.

Obviously, he’ll be picked in the first round, but we don’t know where. The man who has soared up the draft lists in recent months is working hard (both physically and mentally) and is Europe’s seventh-best draft prospect.

Only David Reinbacher (fifth) does better.

Unless guys like Lukas Dragicevic or Étienne Morin come along to derail the plan, we can expect the two defensemen from Europe to be the first picks at the blue line.

But it’s not a given that Reinbacher will be the first.

ASP, who’s not exactly 5’11, is becoming increasingly popular with team scouts. He’s the talk of the NHL, and some teams really like him.

Craig Button ranked Reinbacher fifth on his list of top 2023 prospects. Reinbacher is ranked 20th…

I’m not sure how much the Habs want to consider Sandin Pellikka. After all, we know Reinbacher is in the club’s sights, so they must not be closed to the idea of drafting a right-handed defenseman at #5.

That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, but don’t forget that if the CH does draft a defenseman over a forward, they can’t be told they’ve chosen a lesser forward than Matvei Michkov.

But is there a difference between a 6’2 defenseman (Reinbacher) and a 5’10/11 like Sandin? Of course there is. Especially for a club that will probably be counting on Lane Hutson for the rest of the season.

So it remains to be seen, but with some red flags starting to show in Reinbacher’s case, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him slip.

The feeling I get is that the Habs will go with Ryan Leonard. Unless, of course, Will Smith or Leo Carlsson slipped through the cracks to #5.

But there’s still plenty of time to change your mind 453 times.

In a row

– A name to watch.

– Good question.

– Good text.

– Still.

– A name to remember.

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