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Draft: more clues about defensemen in Chicago and Anaheim
Credit: Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images

Right now, it’s the NHL combine in Buffalo. What this means is that teams can now evaluate prospects more seriously with a view to the draft, which takes place at the end of the month. Not all the prospects are there, but that’s okay.

In the Habs’ case, this will give them a chance to talk to Cayden Lindstrom and see if his injury history could be problematic in the future.

It won’t be possible to talk to Ivan Demidov, another of the Flanelle’s big targets, since the player isn’t here. But since he’s in Florida, in my opinion, the Habs can find a way to talk to him if they want.

All this to say that the teams that draft ahead of the Habs will also be able to talk to the best prospects of the draft. But of course, what we’re most interested in is what the Blackhawks, Ducks and Blue Jackets think.

If two defensemen emerge in the top-4, the Habs will be assured of having a forward of their own at their disposal. But will it really happen, or is it just a dream?

The fact is, we’ve suspected for some time that Chicago and Anaheim are looking to potentially go with defensemen. Both teams have been talking about it for a while, but since yesterday, the tendencies of both teams have become even clearer.

First of all, Grant McCagg told Tony Marinaro’s Sick Podcast yesterday that, from what he’s heard, both teams are moving toward fullbacks on June 28 in Vegas.

Then, in his mock draft of the day, Corey Pronman (The Athletic) placed Artyom Levshunov (Chicago) and Anton Silayev (Anaheim) behind Macklin Celebrini in San Jose.

What this means is that, in such a scenario, either Lindstrom or Demidov would be available to the Habs, depending on Columbus’ choice.

And now, according to Pronman, Don Waddell’s Blue Jackets have set their sights on Lindstrom. This would leave the way clear for the Habs to draft Demidov.

The prospect expert believes the Habs would be very happy to see this happen.

I think Montreal would be very happy if Demidov were available at #5. It would add elite talent, which the organization lacks. – Corey Pronman

Sam Dickinson (Utah), Carter Yakemchuk (Ottawa), Zeev Buium (Seattle), Berkly Catton (Calgary) and Beckett Sennecke (New Jersey) would be the other members of the top-10.

Pronman sees the Flames passing up the chance to draft Tij Iginla, who is currently ranked 11th (Buffalo).

In gusts

– Read more.

– It’s all shuffling, as they say.

– He’s on fire.

– People in the middle favor the Panthers.[NYT]

– The Oilers have more Canadians than the Panthers. Lately, that’s a guarantee of success.

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