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Don’t be surprised if the Canadiens trade the 26th pick
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Two years ago, at the NHL draft held in Montreal, the Canadiens shocked fans by trading Alexander Romanov for the 13th overall pick, who eventually became Kirby Dach.

It was Kent Hughes’ first draft as Habs general manager.

For the 2023 draft, Kent Hughes once again decided to trade a first-round pick during the draft.

This time, it was the 31st pick of the auction (acquired in the Ben Chiarot trade) that was traded with a second-round pick for Alex Newhook.

This Friday, Kent Hughes will have the chance to complete a hat-trick by trading the 26th overall pick (or 5th?) to improve his attack, which is a goal for Hughes.

Three’s a crowd, as the saying goes.

Stu Cowan recently wrote in The Montreal Gazette that we shouldn’t be surprised to see the Habs trade their late first-round pick.

Still, this year seems to have some very nice depth in the first round, and even in the second round.

If the Habs decide to draft with the 26th pick, Grant McCagg mentioned that it would be surprising if the club drafted a small forward.

Guys like Dean Letourneau and Sacha Boisvert could be interesting picks with the 26th pick, but based on the roster of the recent champions, drafting late in the first round isn’t useful.

As Stu Cowan points out in his article, the Florida Panthers won with only three players drafted by the franchise.

And all three were drafted very high (Aaron Ekblad, Aleksander Barkov and Anton Lundell), at 1st, 2nd and 12th respectively.

All other members of the champion team were acquired by trade or free agent, except for Gustav Forsling, who was claimed in the waivers.

What’s more, the Panthers haven’t drafted in the first round since 2021, and don’t have a first-round pick next year.

Not to say that drafting isn’t the answer, but drafting late isn’t necessary to have a championship team.

Acquiring players who can help you now to speed up the rebuild can be good, as Hughes has shown us in the last two years.

Let’s see what Kent Hughes has in store for us with this 26th pick.


– Interesting.

– It’s confirmed: Mikheyev has waived his no-trade clause to go to Chicago.

– He’s generous.

– Well, well, well.

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