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Montreal Canadiens Had A Costly Trade-Up Target At 2022 Draft



Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens were transparent about their desire to want to move up at the 2022 NHL Draft, and their specific target has been revealed.

As mentioned in his most recent article for La Presse, Mathias Brunet  breaks down some of the Montreal Canadiens’ plans during the 2022 NHL Draft.

A Trade-Up Candidate Revealed

On top of breaking down the entire timeline of the discussions that led Kirby Dach to the Montreal Canadiens, Brunet also brings up that the Canadiens were looking to move up in the 2022 NHL Draft to select centre Noah Ostlund.

The 18-year-old was part of a trio of young Swedes playing for Djugardens in the SHL, since relegated to Hockeyallsvenskan, that took the U-18 Worlds by storm last spring and shocked the Americans to a gold medal finish.

Ostlund was ranked in the 10-to-25 range on most lists, but Brunet contends that the Canadiens had Ostlund as high as 5th on their draft list and were trying to package picks 26 and 33 (ultimately used to select Filip Mesar and Owen Beck) to do it. Ultimately, Ostlund’s name was called at the 16th rank by the Buffalo Sabres.

Leading up to the draft, the Canadiens had also taken Ostlund’s teammate, Jonathan Lekkerimaki, the leading scorer of the U18s, to dinner while in Buffalo during the NHL Combine.

Ostlund has been off to a strong start in Sweden’s 2nd tier division, posting two goals and nine assists for 11 points in 16 games. He’s outperformed Lekkerimaki, who was selected a pick before him by the Vancouver Canucks at 15th overall, and Minnesota Wild 1st rounder Liam Ohgren by a wide margin and has been noticeable so far.

He was signed by the Buffalo Sabres almost immediately and loaned back to his Swedish club. Fans will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with Ostlund when he suits up for Sweden next month in the World Junior Championships.

Would You Make That Deal Today?

Although Ostlund is a very talented player, one would have to think that the Canadiens would have thought twice about trying to move two high picks had they known how quickly Owen Beck has developed since being selected 33rd overall.

In 15 games this season, he has amassed 13 goals and nine assists for 22 points in just 15 games; and his 1.47 points-per-game has him tied for fifth in the OHL overall. Filip Mesar has also looked explosive right out of the gate, posting six goals and five assists for 11 points in just nine games.

Both speedy and skilled players will be big parts of the Canadiens’ future moving forward, with Beck looking very much like a mid-first-round talent out of the gate this season.

One could argue that some of the best deals are the ones that you don’t make.


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I think its an Either Or situation
I think they tried acquiring a pick in that range using Beck and Mesar’s picks but it was to avoid trading Romanov.

Regardless of Popular Opinion Hughes was trying to re-sign Romanov to a simular deal as he got in NYI. The motivation was to get a pick for CHI so they could get their Caufield in Nezar in exchange for Dach whom like Danault they wrote off early due to repeat injury issues.

This kid MTL was after like Beck was ranked anywhere from top half of the first round to back end of the 2nd round. Last years draft was like that for basically everyone 10th OA – 50th OA as many lost position due to years off in Junior like Shane Wright or Owen Beck which means many players who had a good year saw a bump in their position due to percieved momentium.(Teams paranoid they’d get a Shane Wright where his Development was clearly effected rather then an Owen Beck where it clearly did not)

I think origially Hughes was trying to land Dach using that pick while buying himself a season to bolster Romanov’s value as he began stepping into top minutes in MTL just as he was traded to a team that put him back on 3rd pair.

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