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Canadiens To Monitor Interesting Names For ‘Buy-Low’ Deals

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Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens are in the business of “selling high and buying low” and there are a few options across the league that fit the bill.

Since General Manager Kent Hughes has taken over the helm of the organization, he’s put a lot of time and energy into building up his player development department to help optimize the play of his players.

With a significant amount of resources now in place, Hughes has banked on his organization’s ability to develop and has gone out to make some splashes this past summer.

His acquisition of Kirby Dach was the first major move in that direction, as things looked dire for him in Chicago, but has since turned it around in a big way in Montreal.

To a lesser extent, he also took a gamble on Sean Monahan buy buying incredibly low on a player who had “bounce back” written all over him.

There are some players in the NHL right now that look to be nearing the end of their time on their respective teams, and this could present an opportunity for the Canadiens to swoop in and make a move.

Jesse Puljujarvi

Montreal Hockey Now reported in August that the Montreal Canadiens had shown interest in Jesse Puljujarvi, as they are looking to take on more “buy low”  projects, and this could be a perfect opportunity.

According to one NHL executive with knowledge of the NHL trade talks involving Puljujärvi, the Montreal Canadiens did their due diligence on the fourth overall pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft during the draft at the Bell Centre during the 2022 NHL Draft.

With the Canadiens likely unloading some expiring contracts leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline, Puljujarvi could be just the type of player they could give some no-stress ice time to and evaluate for the summer.

Maxime Comtois

Maxime Comtois is another forward who started off strong, but has seemingly tailed off in the last two seasons.

After putting up promising numbers as a 22-year-old and leading the Anaheim Ducks in scoring, Comtois has seemingly lost his confidence and tumbled his way down the depth chart in Orange County.

The 6’2, 210 lbs winger could bring some much-needed grit on the wing for the Canadiens and could present a better power play option on the second wave for the powerplay.

He’s a restricted free agent this summer, which would also provide the Canadiens with full control on the player while they try to bring his game back to what it used to be.

Connor McMichael

Lastly, the Washington Capitals’ former 1st round pick, Connor McMichael is an interesting option to look out, for as he might be squeezed out of Washington in the near future.

The 21-year-old former junior standout has had a rough go finding his footing in Washington behind their incredible forward depth. He has a goal-scoring ability from the middle of the ice that the Canadiens currently lack outside of Nick Suzuki.

He seems ready to take the next step in his development and establish himself as a full-time NHL player, but he simply doesn’t have the room in Washington.

His attention to defence and his strong faceoff percentage show he can be a bonafide centre in the NHL, and, as the Canadiens continue to clear out veterans throughout the season, could be a player they take a chance on.

As was previously noted early this season, the Canadiens and the Washington Capitals were in talks about potential trades, and, should the Capitals prefer to hold on to their 2023 1st-round pick, McMichael could be the type of bait that could get Hughes to listen.

Philip Tomasino

How the Nashville Predators have Phil Tomasino in the AHL right now is mind-boggling considering he had 11 goals and 21 assists for 32 points in 76 games in the NHL just last year.

The former 24th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft has been an electric player with a ton of speed that could play centre or the wing in a pinch.

He has great speed, something Hughes greatly appreciates, but simply needs to find his footing in the NHL on a bottom-six.

With all the long-term contracts at forward for the Predators, they may be inclined to capitalize on their asset and perhaps improve on defence as they attempt to make a push for the playoffs.

A player like Tomasino would fit in perfectly with the “value of a 1st round pick” that Hughes has mentioned as an alternative option to his much-desired 2023 1st-round pick via trade.

Tomasino would bring an immediate boost to the Canadiens’ transition game and could be a dangerous piece to develop on the Canadiens’ 2nd power play wave.

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