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Arber Xhekaj could bring back a first-round pick, says Mathias Brunet
Since being traded to the Laval Rocket in the AHL, Arber Xhekaj has impressed alongside Logan Mailloux on the first defensive pair. However, he is unlikely to be recalled to Montreal for the time being, due to the excessive number of left-handed defensemen in the Habs line-up.

If Kent Hughes ever decides to trade him to lighten the left side, he could get a first-round pick, according to Mathias Brunet of La Presse.

Many fans wouldn’t want to lose the services of a rugged defenseman like Xhekaj, but a first-round pick could convince many. Especially when you’re talking about a guy who’s never been drafted! It could also solve the Habs’ left-handed defenseman problem.

The Habs currently have to play with four left-handed defensemen in their lineup: Mike Matheson, Kaiden Guhle, Jayden Struble and Jordan Harris.

But none of this seems to be in Kent Hughes’ plans. A monster offer could change his mind, but so far, the Tricolore GM still sees the 6’4″ defenseman in his soup. He even confirmed this during an appearance on TVA Sports’ JiC show.

“Our plans are not to trade Arber Xhekaj. He’s not in the AHL because he’s no longer in our plans.” – Kent Hughes

In any case, the Laval experiment is currently extremely conclusive. Accompanied by Logan Mailloux, Xhekaj has been dominating the AHL for several games now, with 8 points in his last 9 games.

Defensively, he’s looking much better than when he started. His +3 differential is excellent, but we could also let one of his teammates speak for himself. Goalie Kasimir Kaskisuo praised Xhekaj’s work during a live broadcast of the Rocket game.

He explains that Arber Xhekaj is simply too good for the league with the Rocket, no less!

So the Habs could pull a first-round pick out of a deal involving Arber Xhekaj, but no one in the organization wants to see him go.

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