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Tij Iginla: NHL people see him being considered for the fourth spot
Credit: Photo by Dale Preston/Getty Images
The NHL Draft is just over a month away. Remember that at the draft, the Sharks will speak first (and, barring a huge surprise, draft Macklin Celebrini), while the Habs will have the fifth round.

What seems clear is that Kent Hughes would like to draft a forward. In an ideal world, Ivan Demidov would still be available at No. 5, but if he’s no longer there, the Habs will have to think about the next level of forwards.

Of the lot, Cayden Lindstrom seems to be the name that comes up a lot, but Tij Iginla is also mentioned. Some have their doubts about the latter, but others are in love with what he brings to the ice.

I’m inclined to think that fifth place might be a bit early for him, but…

According to Corey Pronman, Iginla’s evaluations across the NHL are very mixed, but that the kid has support across the league. In fact, Pronman explains that some people in the league see him being considered… as early as fourth, which is the Columbus Blue Jackets.

That’swhat he reported on the latest The Athletic Hockey Podcast (around the 52nd minute, for those interested).

In fact, Pronman explains it all by the fact that there’s one aspect of Iginla’s game that’s pretty polarizing across the NHL: his hockey IQ. Some see him as an extremely intelligent player on the ice, while others find him rather average at this level.

And the expert attributes the difference in assessments to this simple fact: those who think he has a great hockey IQ see him out early in the first round, while others see him out in the middle of the first round.

What does seem clear is that young Iginla is one of this draft’s (many) hidden cards. No one seems too sure where he’ll end up, but in the end, all it takes is one team that likes the kid for him to come out a little earlier than some teams thought.

Will that team be the Habs, another team listed by Pronman as a team that might consider Iginla (in the same sense as the Blue Jackets)? The answer in a little over a month.

In gusto

It’s now official. Several of his assistants have also signed new contracts.


– Great news for the Czech Republic.

– Linus Ullmark wants to stay in Boston.

– They’re a force to be reckoned with.

– It’s not ideal.

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