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Never let Ivan Demidov set foot in the AHL
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By drafting Ivan Demidov fifth overall, the Canadiens have acquired a player brimming with talent. Offensively, he has the potential to be a star player in the NHL… and it’s not for nothing that there’s already talk of him scoring more than a point a game in the Bettman circuit.

It may not happen in his first year (especially if he were to arrive as early as 2024-25), but at maturity, he has that potential.

Obviously, this makes him one of the NHL’s most promising prospects… but it also puts him at risk of having a target on his back.

And on today’s episode of the Habsent Minded podcast(Eyes On The Prize), Matt Drake chatted a bit about that reality, which led him to go with this statement:

Never let Ivan Demidov set foot in the AHL.

Drake explains his point of view by saying that he doesn’t want to take the risk that a rugged player in the AHL will decide to have his “two minutes of fame” by trying to take on Demidov.

He wouldn’t have a problem with the kid being around the team in Laval to get acclimatized. That said, he wants Demidov’s first North American games to be in a Canadiens uniform. And on that point, his point stands.

Speaking of acclimatization, Drake also proposed an idea to ease the youngster’s transition to America: he’d like to see the Habs offer a coaching position to Andrei Markov, who could take his young compatriot under his wing.

And at the same time, he could be a mentor to the team’s young defensemen. Imagine if Lane Hutson could benefit from Markov’s guidance in running the power play.

We’ll see how the Habs handle Demidov’s eventual arrival in America, but the idea of keeping him away from the AHL isn’t a bad one. It’s a risk the club doesn’t have to take, after all.


– Eric Engels isn’t surprised that the Habs haven’t made a move… yet.

– Capitals don’t want to rebuild.

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