The Montreal Canadiens have now finalized the Christian Dvorak trade, sending Carolina’s 2022 1st Round pick, not their own, to the Arizona Coyotes as compensation for the rugged centreman.
When Dvorak was acquired from the Coyotes on September 4, the Canadiens paid a hefty price. They sent a conditional 2022 1st round pick and a 2024 2nd round pick for Dvorak. At the time, the Canadiens owned two 2022 1st round picks at the time; their own and Carolina’s, which came as compensation from the Jesperi Kotkaniemi Offer Sheet.
Montreal Canadiens Included Pivotal Stipulation
At the moment of the trade with the Coyotes, the Canadiens had stipulated that the better of Montreal/Carolina’s 2022 1st round picks would go to Arizona, unless either or both picks were to be top-10 picks. If either pick were to be in the top-10, then Montreal would instead transfer to the Arizona Coyotes, the lower of the two 1st round picks. The Carolina Hurricanes have already clinched their spot in the NHL Playoffs, which means their 1st rounder will be in the latter part of the 1st round, while Montreal will now assuredly be picking the top-10, if not higher.
After Thursday night’s Red Wings victory against the Carolina Hurricanes, Detroit had risen to 68 points in the standings, which is good for 9th to last in the NHL standings. The Canadiens, who only have 51 points on the season and seven games left to play, cannot catch up to Red Wings and can consequently finish no higher than 8th to last if they win every game from here on out.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) September 4, 2021
The Draft Lottery Implications
So why is 8th to last, not 10th to last, the benchmark for completing the trade conditions with Arizona?
To officially ensure that the Canadiens’ pick would be in the top-10 this year, one had to consider the NHL Draft Lottery on May 16th. With every team out of playoff contention involved in the lottery, had the Canadiens finished 9th or 10th to last, they could have been bumped out of the top-10 if teams that finished 11th to last or higher won the lottery. The new edition of the NHL Draft Lottery has two lotteries, meaning that two teams could move up a maximum of 10 spots and could have bumped the Canadiens out of the top-10 with some luck.
With Detroit’s recent victory ensuring Montreal can finish no higher than 8th to last this season and pick no higher than 10th overall at the NHL Draft, the trade with the Arizona Coyotes is now confirmed.
One can’t help but think where the Canadiens would be right now if that stipulation was not included in the trade at the time, as the Canadiens would have gift-wrapped a top-10 pick and a 2024 2nd round pick to the Arizona Coyotes. Thankfully, for the Montreal Canadiens and its fans, they can look forward to choosing a talented young player in the top-10 with the Draft set to take place at the Bell Centre.