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Cayden Lindstrom: Corey Pronman’s fifth-best forward of the draft
Credit: Photo by Jonathan Kozub/Getty Images
The Canadiens want a forward with their first pick. And if all goes well, it will.

In an ideal world, Ivan Demidov and/or Cayden Lindstrom would slide into the Habs’ lineup. Kent Hughes could end up with one of the top three forwards in the draft.

That’s the plan many fans want, anyway.

But in reality, as Mathias Brunet points out in today’s column, the 2024 draft is particularly difficult to predict right now.

Craig Button recently unveiled a list that got people talking, but he’s not the only one.

Another book that will undoubtedly attract attention? The Athletic’s prospect expert Corey Pronman has put together a list (not a mock draft) of the top 129 prospects.

And what’s interesting is that not only are the guys ranked from best to 129th, but there are categories too.

Macklin Celebrini, for example, is at number one (to no one’s surprise), but he’s mostly alone in his category, which is called NHL Elite Player. It’s all to do with his potential.

Here are the other categories:

  • Close to an elite player, but an all-star : Artyom Levshunov (2)
  • All-star: Carter Yakemchuk (3), Anton Silayev (4) and Zeev Buium (5) #DefendersDraft
  • Close to being an all-star, but a top-line player: Berkly Catton (6), Beckett Sennecke (7) and Ivan Demidov (8)
  • Top player: Zayne Parekh (9), Cayden Lindstrom (10) and Sam Dickinson (11)
Behind Celebrini, there are two forwards before falling to Ivan Demidov and Cayden Lindstrom: Berkly Catton and Beckett Sennecke. Lindstrom is even lower down the pecking order.

Still, I’m surprised to see Catton and Sennecke in the top-7… and Demidov behind them.

Does this mean that Lindstrom will finish 10th? Not necessarily, no. After all, the lists are so different from one analyst to another that we know it’ll be the same for the teams. All it takes is one club that likes Lindstrom (like the Habs) to change the order of the list.

Finally, this ranking makes me say even more that if Levshunov were to become available… it would be hard for the Habs to pass him up. I know the club wants a striker, but…

In gossip

– Hello, Alex.

– The club needs reinforcements.

– It’s done.

– One to watch.

– Will Smith officially under contract.

– Who will be the coach in San Jose?

– He was Darnell Nurse’s agent when he signed his big contract.

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