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Mock draft: Ivan Demidov in Montreal, according to The Athletic
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In an ideal (and realistic) world, the Montreal Canadiens would see either Cayden Lindstrom or Ivan Demidov slide to #5 in the next draft. That way, they’d emerge from the auction with one of the top three forwards in the draft.

If that happens, all is well. It’s if three forwards (Macklin Celebrini and these two guys) emerge in the top-4 that Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton will have some questions.

Backing out of the draft would be an option on the table.

However, it’s rare that we see a recent mock draft and the top-4 is made up of three forwards. After all, there are some big defensemen out there, and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

Often, one, two or three backs make their way into the top-4, leaving the way clear for the Habs to draft Demidov or Lindstrom. And if both are available, Demidov is likely to be the Habs’ choice.

That’s exactly what happened in today’s mock draft by The Athletic. Corey Pronman and Scott Wheeler, the platform’s prospect experts, took turns picking a prospect for the teams in the predetermined order.

Here’s what they came up with in the top-4.

  • Sharks: Macklin Celebrini
  • Blackhawks: Artyom Levshunov
  • Ducks: Anton Silayev
  • Blue Jackets: Sam Dickinson
In the case of teams two through four, the experts explained their choice by mentioning that Demidov is tempting, but that drafting a defenseman of the calibre of the three guys named above was practically irresistible.

The explanation for the Hawks’ choice is particularly interesting.

The wind is blowing in the direction of Ivan Demidov, but my instinct is that if it’s close between two guys, an NHL club is going to prefer the impact defenseman they’ve seen play in person for the past two years. – Corey Pronman

But in Montreal, the club is obviously looking for a winger. Having Demidov, whose talent is coming out of his ears, would surely be the most satisfying conclusion in management’s eyes.

The Habs have always liked the player… and it’s even more interesting now that we understand he’s not as small as we think.

Note that this isn’t the first time The Athletic has spawned a mock draft this month. The first time, Demidov(who does indeed have a chance of slipping to #5) was also the Habs’ pick.

In both cases, Cayden Lindstrom would be drafted #6 by the Utah club.

In gusto

– Heavy defeat (8-1) in the return match for CS Saint-Laurent against Toronto.

– The NHL is rubbing its hands: there are big markets in the Final Four.

– What will the Blue Jays do?

– What do you think?

– He’s getting comfortable.

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