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“The Canadiens don’t have too many hopes on defense”
Credit: Getty Images
Next training camp, many defensemen will be trying to make their mark with the Habs.

Of course, some won’t make it, and some, barring a trade, are already guaranteed a spot for the 2024-2025 season. But all the same, there will be plenty of people at the Mass.

It’ll look like this.

  • Mike Matheson
  • David Savard
  • Jordan Harris
  • Lane Hutson
  • Kaiden Guhle
  • Johnathan Kovacevic
  • Arber Xhekaj
  • David Reinbacher
  • Adam Engstrom
  • Logan Mailloux
  • Jayden Struble
  • William Trudeau
  • Justin Barron
  • Mattias Norlinder

Ideally, the plan would be for the Habs to trade one or more defensemen for reinforcements up front. At some point, this will clearly have to happen, but there’s no rush.

And above all, there’s no connection, in my eyes, between drafting a defenseman at #5 and the surplus of backs on the roster. It’s a different story in the following rounds, because when it comes down to it, we’re talking about quantity rather than quality.

Why is that? Because drafting a defenseman at #5 next Friday would mean adding, arguably, the best defenseman in the entire organization. That would mean going for a #1.

And right now, the Habs don’t have a #1. As good as Guhle and Reinbacher are, in the long term, they’re not necessarily going to fill that chair.

Mike Matheson is here, but the Habs will surely want a quarterback the same age as everyone else. And it’s not that easy to get one.

And what Corey Pronman (The Athletic) wrote yesterday is very much in that vein.

The Habs don’t have much hope on defense. – Corey Pronman

In his eyes, the Habs don’t have enough top prospects on offense or defense to draft as needed. If the best prospect is a defenseman, they should just take him. Publicly, that’s not a comment that’s going to go over well, I’m sure. But it’s all the same.

Drafting a defenseman at No. 5 and pairing him with Reinbacher and Guhle would be a top-3 defense.

In Pronman’s eyes, Reinbacher and Guhle are top-4s, but not stars. Hutson has potential, but there are doubts. Mailloux, Barron and Xhekaj are not stars.

If the Habs were to draft more defensemen than forwards next Saturday, it would be counterproductive. But Friday’s first pick is in a class of his own.

Overtime

– A model of consistency.

– Very cool.

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