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The Habs’ 5th-round pick: What if Cayden Lindstrom had the big stick?
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As a result, the Tricolore will be drafted5th overall next June. Exactly as fate would have it , Kirby Dach’s season will end after two games.

All is in all!

Nothing happens for nothing!


Let’s rejoice in acceptance and virtue, as our Stoic friends would say!

And Cayden Lindstrom, who has been mentioned in this column since early December as a logical target for the Habs around No. 5, could well come to Montreal.

At least, Kent Hughes’ words before and after the lottery always seemed to point directly in his direction…

Cayden Lindstrom will have to play his part

In fact, Lindstrom may already have begun to play his part, with a few statements about the Montreal market and some of the team’s players in recent months.

In February, he cautiously told our former colleague Nicolas Cloutier, now with TVA Sports:

I talked a little to Canadiens scouts. It was good. They’re good people. I know you’ve got some pretty crazy fans in Montreal. I like it and the organization has a rich history. The market doesn’t intimidate me.

At the end of April, when everyone knew the lottery odds, he added this in an interview with Marco D’Amico of Montreal Hockey Now :

I want to play in an environment like that.

Then, just recently, he went one step further with Anthony Martineau, once again at TVA Sports:

I could see myself playing with Slafkovsky. He’s a big guy like me, so we could make a lot of space on the ice! Otherwise, Cole Caufield is quite a scorer, and he’s also excellent at creating plays.

Of course, players rarely say the wrong things to local journalists, but in Lindstrom’s case, you can tell he sees the interest in him from the Habs and the Montreal market and embraces it. You can also sense that he has the personality to play here, a criterion that is of the utmost importance to Habs scouts.



loves Montreal, could he also love… Anaheim?

Many seem to be assuming VERY quickly that the Anaheim Ducks will draft a right-handed back in the third spot.

Even if he isn’t the unanimous choice, the name Artyom Levshunov is regularly associated with the Ducks by various observers. It’s also true that the Ducks’ right-handed depth has been rather thin since Drysdale’s departure. Rightly or wrongly, Tristan Luneau isn’t exactly being tipped as a first-pair defenseman…

But when you carefully read what Pat Verbeek revealed at his end-of-season press briefing when he said he wanted to add a top-4 right-handed defenseman to his roster, you notice that he seems to have current NHL players in mind, and even more specifically free agents.

This summer’s top UFA right-handed defensemen who seem to fit this profile are: Brandon Montour, Dylan DeMelo, Matt Roy, Brett Pesce, Chris Tanev.

If on June 28 – the night of the draft, a few days before the free agent market opens – Verbeek already knows that he has a very good chance of agreeing with one of these players he’d particularly like, could the interest in drafting a Levshunov diminish a little?

Let’s not forget that Verbeek was already in the “here and now” last summer when he came to an agreement with Alex Killorn and Radko Gudas. He certainly didn’t expect to draft so high again this season and still seems motivated to improve his line-up quickly.

That said, Levshunov could occupy a top-4 role within the next two years and thus present himself as an optimal option for Verbeek at No. 3, who wouldn’t have to agree to a big contract for an older player…

But Trevor Zegras’ days may be numbered in Anaheim, and the idea of adding a monster like Cayden Lindstrom to the ranks of Carlsson, McTavish, Gauthier and Terry could be very tempting.

And I don’t think Lindstrom, a guy from the West (British Columbia), would say no to the idea of playing in California and for a team with such a bright future ahead of it…

To be continued…

. and Columbus?

The “Jaquettes Bleues” are also rumored to be very interested in left-handed defenseman Anton “the Unicorn” Silayev. He would join a large contingent of Russian players already in the organization.

But it’s not as if Columbus is overflowing with reliable forward talent and Lindstrom-style forwards. Beyond Fantilli, the offensive talents in place and those to come are dubious at best, for a variety of reasons. Defensive talents may inspire a little more confidence.

And this is where Lindstrom could come in and twist fate’s arm a little, if he really wants to play in Montreal.

His future could be relatively rosy (or blue?) with the Blue Jackets. A nice spot at the center of the 2nd line and on the first power-play unit could secure him a bright financial future.

But will it be much different from what Montreal has to offer in terms of opportunities?

Don’t think so.

After the great exoduses that seem to follow one another there (Panarin, Bobrovsky, etc.), the Jackets have repeatedly expressed their willingness in recent years to bet on players who want to PLAY and STAY in Columbus.

So, if the market, the players in place and Montreal’s perhaps slightly brighter future really do appeal to Lindstrom, all he has to do is let the Blue Jackets know clearly enough, and they’ll pass.


The teams will meet many of the top prospects for the upcoming auction at the Gold Star Hockey showcase and the famous Combine. We have a feeling that the top-5, or even top-10, of the draft could well become even clearer as a result. We’ll then know a little more about whether we’re currently witnessing ” wishful thinking ” about the possibility of ” selecting ” Lindstrom at No. 5…

One thing is certain: he would help the Tricolore form what could one day resemble a “first playoff line” along with Dach/Suzuki and Slafkovsky. Otherwise, Tij Iginla would still be a great consolation prize.

Besides, I don’t think we need to waste too much keyboard juice on the possibilities of the Habs moving up to the 2nd tier of the draft by trading with Chicago for Ivan Demidov. The Hawks are in no hurry and will want to add the best possible pieces one at a time. Demidov is, in my opinion, the most talented player in the draft and, as his agent Dan Milstein told Anthony Martineau this week:

“[…] if Ivan were playing in the CHL right now and had the same exposure as every other prospect in North America, he would be seen as the logical first overall pick. And I’m really not afraid to say that.”

Dan Milstein is the same guy who said Alexander Romanov was top-10 worthy in 2018 and that everyone could have seen that if he had played in the CHL.

And he was right.

And, in my opinion, if you read me in February, he might still be right about Demidov.

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