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Acquisition of a talented young striker : Arber Xhekaj in talks
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

Arber Xhekaj’s name has been on everyone’s lips since this morning. After yesterday’s match, in which he performed very well, we feel that the Sheriff is on the right track after a few difficulties.

And when I say Sheriff, I’m obviously not speaking on behalf of Martin St-Louis or the dressing room.

When it comes to Xhekaj, we’re still wondering what lies ahead. Will he make his mark with the Habs? Will he become a bargaining chip in the future?

“For me, “Will he fit in under Martin St-Louis? is perhaps the most important question. After all, he often seems to walk on eggshells with his head coach.

And that’s not ideal for a young player.

Remember the game against the Islanders, when Brendan Gallagher made the most reprehensible gesture of the game, but was still more defended by his coach than Xhekaj publicly?

That was telling.

Of course, if you want to venture on the side of WiFi’s market value, you might think he’s actually worth something. According to The Fourth Period, the Habs turned down a top-6 forward for his services.

And according to Mathias Brunet, Xhekaj is still worth a good first-round pick. Normally, with a good first-round pick, you can draft a top-6 forward, if you want.

But let’s turn the question around. The Habs can obviously get a top-6 forward against the Sheriff, but do they absolutely have to give away Xhekaj to get a top-tier forward?

Renaud Lavoie, who discussed the subject this morning on BPM Sports, believes that teams who talk to the Habs about sending them a top-notch forward will ask for defenseman #72 in return.

“Arber Xhekaj’s name will be mentioned and demanded” in big discussions, says Renaud Lavoie

Does this mean that without Xhekaj, a deal is impossible? Not necessarily. But if the Ducks, for example, discuss Trevor Zegras with the Habs, we can expect the defenseman’s name to come up. A club that doesn’t ask about Xhekaj isn’t doing its job.

Obviously, the Habs have to think about their business, since WiFi brings something unique to the table. Even if teams ask for the defender, the club must first decide how important he is to them and at what price he could leave.

If Kent Hughes wants to keep him (which seems to be the plan), he’ll have to convince his counterparts that his bank of prospects and picks has other elements that are of interest. And Jordan Harris probably doesn’t have the same value as Xhekaj, by the way.

In gusts

– I like.

– Back to your questions.

– Four?

– Trevor Zegras, traded this summer? [BPM Sports]

– Still.

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