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Canadiens Reportedly Waiting To See If Devils Will Flinch At NHL Draft

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NHL Trade

It appears the Montreal Canadiens are waiting to see if the New Jersey Devils will flinch leading up to the 2022 NHL Draft,

During a most recent segment of Insider Trading, TSN’s Pierre Lebrun mentioned that the Montreal Canadiens have not officially chosen who they’ll be picking on July 7, which is not uncommon. What was intriguing however were his comments in regards to the position of the Canadiens and the New Jersey Devils leading up to the 2022 NHL Draft.

“Kent Hughes has said that they would use all the time they had leading up to next Thursday’s 1st round to settle on that No. 1 pick,” said Lebrun when discussing the draft strategy for the Canadiens as of now. “But what it could do in the meantime is perhaps add some intrigue in the hours leading up to next Thursday’s 1st round in that everyone knows the New Jersey Devils are picking at No. 2. There are some who believe that Montreal is waiting to see if the Devils make a move closer to the first round in terms of picking up the phone and asking Montreal what it would take to flip the No.1 and No. 2 picks so that the Devils can make sure they can get their hands on winger Juraj Slafkovsky.”

Although it does seem like the Canadiens are playing a game of poker with the Devils, it wouldn’t make much sense for the Devils to give up an asset to trade up unless they felt Slafkosvky was clearly superior to Shane Wright. That being said, historically speaking, a trade-up from 2nd or 3rd overall to 1st overall has never garnered much of a return in the past outside of another pick. The last time a team traded up for the 1st overall pick was at the 2003 NHL Draft, when the Pittsburgh Penguins traded the 3rd overall pick and a 2nd round pick to the Florida Panthers for the 1st overall pick. They went on to select Marc-Andr√© Fleury, who was seen by many as the top prospect in the draft at that time.

Will we see a similar situation on July 7? It remains to be seen.

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