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The end of the rebuild should force Kent Hughes to be aggressive in the draft
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The Canadiens have been awarded the 5th overall pick in last night’s lottery.

The draft is at the end of June… But we’re already starting to think about the plans of Kent Hughes and the Montreal management.

It’s going to come fast, after all. And the Habs GM will have several options on the table.

Of course, the goal of all GMs at the draft is to improve their respective teams. This can be done by drafting a player… But it can also be done by making a transaction.

We’ve seen it with Kirby Dach and Alex Newhook in recent years in Montreal.

That said, things are a little different for Hughes and his assistants this year.


Because next year, the Tricolore must be in a position to compete for a playoff spot.

Expectations will be higher… And that must force Kent Hughes to be very, very aggressive on the draft transaction market.

At least, that’s what Darren Dreger said in a recent column (TSN 690)

And the journalist doesn’t close the door on the Canadiens’ GM going to the draft to pick a guy he likes, or on him trading his 5th pick with a defenseman to get a player who can help the club next year in its playoff race:

Kent Hughes has admitted that he won’t be pulling out all the stops this summer to sign a big name on the free agent market… But that’s different, because he could be handcuffed on salary pretty quickly.

We know how many bad contracts are open to free agents during the summer…

That said, if Hughes is able to make a deal to get his hands on a young, established NHL forward who doesn’t earn an astronomical salary and who can make a difference on the ice, he’ll have to think hard about it.

The good thing about all this is that Kent Hughes has all the tools he needs to be aggressive at the draft.

He has the 5th pick and the Jets’ pick this year, he still has two first-round picks next year… And he has a superb bank of blue-line prospects.

The Habs GM will be armed to the teeth to improve his club, and since we’ve seen him make big trades in the past, we know he won’t be afraid to move.

This is where it gets especially exciting for Habs fans. Because the end of the rebuild should force him to be aggressive.

In a gust

– Nice attention.

– He looks like a monster!

– Really?

– It’s true!

– Good read.

– It’s going to be special for the boys.

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