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Home Run Moves The Montreal Canadiens Could Consider In 2023

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Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes

Montreal Canadiens General Manager Kent Hughes made some bold moves in 2022, that made way for some exciting trades and roster choices.

With 2023 set to be an even bigger year for the Canadiens and their rebuild, here are a few bold predictions on players the Canadiens could target in 2023.

 

Brock Boeser

Brock Boeser is another player the Canadiens are confirmed to be following quite closely, as the club’s professional scouting team has held the scoring winger in high esteem for the last few years now.

The scoring winger has officially asked for a trade out of Vancouver, as things are seemingly not working out with the Canucks, who have a glut of young wingers they prefer to play over Boeser at this time.

At a $6.65M cap hit, the Canadiens would have to send some salary back if it were ever to work, but pure goal-scoring wingers are hard to come by, and Boeser has shown to be a dynamic talent in the past.

It’ll be very interesting to see what he’s eventually traded for, but one could be sure that the Canucks will likely net a lower return than Canucks fans would have anticipated last season or in the past.

Canadiens Ideal Suitors For Brock Boeser In Potential Trade

Adam Boqvist

The former 8th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft is one of those players the Columbus Blue Jackets could be tempted to move for some forward help down the line.

They recently drafted David Jiricek and Denton Mteychuk, who both play on the right side (despite Mateychuk being left-handed) at 6th and 12th overall in 2022. Jiricek is already cruising in the AHL and doesn’t look too far from cracking the NHL roster full-time, likely taking away from Boqvist’s minutes.

On a team like Montreal, he would likely be slotted next to Kaiden Guhle on their top pair moving forward, while helping to run the top power play, just as he did with the London Knights in junior.

The Blue Jackets likely aren’t likely looking to move a player like Boqvist right now, unless it meant getting their hands on a player of value with term. They were confirmed to be interested in re-acquiring Josh Anderson by Jeff Marek earlier in the summer.

Perhaps a package around both players is the perfect win-win concept for the Blue Jackets, while helping Montreal fill a position of serious need on the back end.

 

Alexis Lafrenière

Alexis Lafrenière has been linked to the Canadiens since before he was even drafted by the New York Rangers.

That being said, his first few seasons in the NHL have been mired with inconsistency and frustrating deployment under two different coaches.

He showed flashes of his potential during the 2022 NHL Playoffs for the Rangers, but has failed to take that next step in his game offensively.

One of the big impediments for Lafrenière is that he’s playing behind the likes of Chris Kreider and Artemi Panarin at left wing, while scrapping it out with fellow top pick Kappo Kakko, who could easily join this list, for ice time in the top six. And it’s entirely possible that the Canadiens target Kakko instead of Lafrenière, as the price might be lower, but, if you want to hit a home run, go big or go home.

It wouldn’t come cheap, more likely to resemble the package the Canadiens offered the Chicago Blackhawks for Kirby Dach, but it would be plausible to think that the General Manager who drafted him, Jeff Gorton, wouldn’t be interested in making his acquisition, should the Rangers ever decide to cut their losses and improve their club elsewhere.

A well-developed Lafrenière next to a Kirby Dach could be a dangerous 2nd line option.

 

L.A Kings Swap

The L.A. Kings have way too many right-shot defencemen on their roster right now.

Next season, the likes of Sean Durzi, Jordan Spence, Drew Doughty, Matt Roy, Sean Walker, Brandt Clarke and Helge Grans all pushing for spots.

In the long-term it would seem that Doughty and Clarke are locks to occupy the top-4 roles on the right side, leaving quite a crowd of players on the outside looking in.

Any of Durzi, Grans or Spence would be an immediate target. The Canadiens spent a great deal of time scouting the Kings last season, and even more time following the Ontario Reign, their AHL affiliate, with an eye on their defensive prospects.

With the Kings seemingly hitting the next phase of their rebuild plans, and their rumoured interest in acquiring Jake Chychrun, things may get tighter on the back end; making for ideal trade partners; as the Canadiens have too many forwards.

With Kent Hughes looking for age-specific prospects to grow with his core,circling back on discussions with the Kings could be a worthwhile process for both clubs.

Montreal Canadiens & LA Kings Could Rekindle Trade Talks

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John Morrissey

not that i don’t like our younger players, i do, but we must try to get some gritty players in the 26-30 age group

Jimmy

I would trade Josh Anderson for Brock Boeser. I would also trade Josh Anderson for Alexis Lafrenière & a player with a bad contract.

Dave

Gallagher and a 2nd round pick 2024 for boeser.

Chris

Enough with Brock bowser talk already first you write about the Habs acquiring him then you say Hugh’s is looking for age appropriate youth players,a rebuild should be through trades and acquisition of young players and development,period. Not getting other older disgruntled players

John Spearing

I’m not big on any of these unless the price is right..
Boeser makes too much for what he is doing – sure he needs a fresh start and has been good in the past, but with his contract, I wouldn’t give anything of value for him and would be looking to dump a bad salary – I just don’t see it happening…
I think Josh is worth a lot more than Boqvist… and although adding a quality RHD would be nice, I don’t want to overpay for one… now if we could find a way to package Josh with a quality young player like Jordan Harris for Simon Nemec, I’d be all in on that – but good luck getting the Devils to bite…
Lafreniere would still come with too high of an asking price based on his draft position and his ceiling as a prospect but his foot speed is very concerning to me and I don’t think he’s a good fit for the type of fast paced team Marty and Hughes are trying to put together.. if the price is right I’d be good with giving him a second chance in Montreal (he is still only 21) but the Montreal media would eat him alive if he struggles, so the price needs to be right and I don’t think the Rangers are willing to give him away just yet…
I’m not against adding any of the Kings RHD again for the right price, but Spence is undersized, Grans hasn’t even played in the NHL yet, and I’m not sure Durzi would come at the right price – I’d love to add Brandt Clark if targeting a prospect, but I can’t see the Kings moving him without an overpay (crowded or not)…

My homeruns would be more like the Anderson and Harris for Simon Nemec dream of mine (no rumours, all me, lol – we’d probably need to take back a salary dump if we did get the Devils to bite, but this one is just a pipe dream anyway so not likely to happen) OR the more realistic ones like Edmundson for Bourgault and Poolparty OR a 2023 1st rounder from a contender for Monahan (once he’s healthy and playing good again) OR getting any return at all for the deadweight vets (Drouin, Dadonov, Hoffman, and Armia)

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