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Kent Hughes has already traded more first-round picks than Marc Bergevin
Credit: This man was still the Habs' GM when Gallagher scored his most recent goal.

It’s no secret that the Habs won’t be doing much talking in the early rounds of the draft. In fact, of the first 68 speaking rights, the Habs have just one: the fifth.

That’s quite a pick to have, though.

Of course, you know that he had two, but that the Panthers’ pick headed to Colorado, along with the CH’s second-round pick and Gianni Fairbrother, to get his hands on Alex Newhook, whose name has already been circulating in Montreal.

Kent Hughes took a chance.

This is the second time Kent Hughes has traded a top draft pick. The first was the deal that brought Kirby Dach out of Chicago.

Alexander Romanov brought the CH a first-round pick.

So, for the time being, Hughes has kept the two picks he inherited by virtue of the rankings – Juraj Slafkovsky in 2022 and the fifth pick tonight.

He used the Flames’ pick (Tyler Toffoli) to draft Filip Mesar, and it’s too early to tell what he’ll do with the Flames’ other pick, the one from the Sean Monahan trade.

And the GM traded the Islanders’ and Panthers’ picks for better bets – established guys from the 2019 draft, but who needed a little change of scenery. #Dach #Newhook

In both cases, you’ll notice that the GM used the pick to get his hands on an excellent young center who deserved a change of scenery. Two in two is a pattern.

Kent Hughes isn’t afraid to move first-round picks. He’s already acquired four since arriving in town, which is four times more than Marc Bergevin did when he was with the CH.

Bergevin acquired this choxi by losing Jesperi Kotkaniemi to the Hurricanes.

It was in this situation that Bergevin traded his only first-round pick. He sent the Canes’ pick to Arizona for Christian Dvorak.

And let’s just say it doesn’t have the same effect as the Dach or Newhook trade.

Every year, Bergevin has drafted with his pick. He has never drafted twice in the first round in his 10 drafts at the helm of the Montreal Canadiens. This is an interesting observation, as it reveals the kind of GM Kent Hughes is likely to be in the future.

But above all, we notice that Marc Bergevin, who always said it was difficult to go out and get center players, sees his counterpart paying the price to go out and get them.

Of course, Bergevin did manage to get some. Nick Suzuki, Phillip Danault, Christian Dvorak and Jesperi Kotkaniemi came to town under the previous administration. Sebastian Aho was added to the list… for a week.

He’s now part of a club with a big center line. Anze Kopitar (drafted), Phillip Danault (signed) and Pierre-Luc Dubois (traded) form a dominant center line in L.A.

Kent Hughes, meanwhile, already has two trophies on his mantelpiece… but that cost first-round picks. We’ll see in the coming years what’s best between the two mentalities.

Remember that tonight, the CH will be drafting (unless something changes) a prospect to join Cole Caufield, Kaiden Guhle, Logan Mailloux, Juraj Slafkovsky and Filip Mesar, the five active players in the organization who were first-round picks in Montreal.

In gusto

– Will he be traded on his birthday?

– Interesting observation.

– A bit of context.

– Even if we don’t talk about him much, it’s his day.

– Still.

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