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Fifth choice: Lindstrom, Demidov… or a defenseman
Credit: Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images
The NHL draft is fast approaching.

In exactly 19 days, we’ll finally have answers to the many questions surrounding this draft, where nothing is guaranteed, apart from Macklin Celebrini’s selection at number one.

Everything will depend on the choice of the Chicago Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks and Columbus Blue Jackets.

We know that the Montreal Canadiens would love to draft a quality forward with their fifth overall pick.

Ivan Demidov is undoubtedly the best raw talent of this draft along with Celebrini, but a history of injuries and the Russian invoice cast doubt on his case.

His KHL contract also raises doubts among some NHL clubs.

As for Cayden Lindstrom, he’s much appreciated by the Habs.

A big, talented forward who plays center, but can also be employed on the wing, is attracting a number of executives.

However, his history of injuries, including his latest back injury, is of concern to many, and could cause him to slip down the rankings as well.

Should Demidov and Lindstrom be available in the fifth spot, the Habs could select a talented forward with great potential.

Arpon Basu of The Athletic believes that if both were available, the Tricolore would choose Lindstrom over the Russian.

In his most recent article, he also points out that if these two forwards were no longer available, the Montreal club would opt for another defenseman instead.

“Under the unlikely circumstances of Lindstrom and Demidov not being available, I think the Habs would lean more towards Lindstrom. If only one of the two were available, it would make the choice much easier to make.” – Arpon Basu

If these two forwards are chosen in the top four, the option of selecting a defenseman shouldn’t be ruled out, even if the Habs already have a surplus at this position.

The defensemen in this draft are excellent and would solidify our brigade. This would allow the Habs to trade one of the organization’s more valuable defensemen for a better forward elsewhere in the NHL.

In the same article, Basu pointed out that the Habs really like Zeev Buium, a left-handed defenseman, but also Zayne Parekh, who is right-handed.

The best right-handed defenseman in this draft clearly seems to be Artyom Levshunov, but there’s a good chance the Belarusian will be chosen in the top four.

Parekh and Buium have a very interesting offensive and mobile aspect, but we mustn’t forget Lane Hutson, who has a very good chance of establishing himself in the NHL.

Adding another offensive and mobile defenseman would help the brigade, but with more offensive-oriented defensemen like Logan Mailloux and Mike Matheson, as well as Arber Xhekaj who struggles a bit defensively, a more complete defenseman would be needed.

If he’s available for the Habs’ choice and Lindstrom and Demidov have already been selected, a defenseman like Sam Dickinson would be more than welcome.

He has the profile of a true quarterback, who could be used in all game situations and who also has an interesting offensive aspect.

Russia’s Anton Silayev, a 6-foot-7, 18-year-old left-handed defender, would be the next Victor Hedman, but more limited offensively.

Once again, the Russian factor comes into play and Basu doesn’t seem convinced that the Tricolore would opt for the giant with the fifth pick.

It all depends on the Habs’ meetings with some of these prospects before the draft, but especially on the choices of the Blackhawks, Ducks and Blue Jackets.

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