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Montreal Canadiens Prospects That Could Be Used As Trade Bait



Montreal Canadiens Prospect

The Montreal Canadiens are looking to acquire top-end talent and picks to build for a better future, and sacrificing veterans might not be their only means to achieving that goal.

As it stands right now, the Montreal Canadiens prospect pool has a significant amount of depth, but lacks quantity when it comes to the top-end talent that a rebuilding team needs to put them over the edge.

Montreal can count on some impressive youngsters like Lane Hutson, Sean Farrell and Joshua Roy; but others are quickly being passed by younger prospects and could be used as trade bait to piece together bigger deals.

Be it through the swap of prospects or the inclusion of a prospect in a bigger deal that could bring more long-term value, it presents a more strategically sound avenue than simply stockpiling all the prospects possible.

A clear example of such a strategy was put on display at the 2022 NHL Draft, where the Canadiens capitalized on their depth on the left side of their defence to fix a long-standing need at centre.

By moving the 22-year-old Alexander Romanov for the 13th overall selection, the Canadiens were able to flip said pick and a 3rd-rounder to acquire Kirby Dach and add some much-needed firepower up front.

Here are a few options the Canadiens could sacrifice from their prospect pool to better aid their endeavour of rebuilding.

Mattias Norlinder

After impressive seasons in HockeyAllsvenskan and the SHL following his selection in the third round of the 2019 NHL Draft, Mattias Norlinder was seen as the potential offensive defenceman of the future for the Montreal Canadiens.

Unfortunately, the 22-year-old has not had the smoothest transition to playing in North America, at least within the Canadiens organization and could possibly be afforded better utilization in another organization.

He was long considered one of Montreal’s top prospects, but has been surpassed by the likes of Kaiden Guhle, Arber Xhekaj and Jordan Harris; while the acquisition of Nicolas Beaudin and the rapid progression of William Trudeau makes him even more expendable, should general manager Kent Hughes need to include a defensive prospect to sweeten the pot of a potential trade.

With players like Lane Hutson and Adam Engstrom also looking like legitimate NHL prospects set to join the NHL/AHL ranks in the next year or two, Norlinder is a viable option for trade bait.

Oliver Kapanen

Oliver Kapanen is an interesting two-way centre currently developing in the Finnish Liiga for KalPa.

He had himself a career year this season, posting 12 goals and 15 assists for 27 points in 55 games; an enormous bump in offensive production from his difficult post-draft season.

The Canadiens’ 2nd-round pick in 2021 also performed admirably for Finland at this year’s World Junior Championship; acting as their top centre and playing a sound, two-way game.

That being said, the Canadiens have a plethora of potential bottom-six centres in the lineup, and Kapanen’s value is likely the highest it’s ever been given his recent upswing in offensive output.

The Canadiens have Jake Evans locked in for a couple of more years, and youngsters like Owen Beck, Riley Kidney, Cedrick Guindon and Vinzenz Rohrer are capable of playing such a role; making a player like Kapanen expendable.

Jesse Ylönen

This may be a shocker to some, as many are already pencilling in Jesse Ylönen into the Montreal Canadiens’ lineup as of next season.

The 23-year-old is getting close to the point where the Canadiens need to make a decision in terms of where he fits in the future.

He will no longer be exempt from waivers next year and the Canadiens are projected to have an even bigger logjam at forward next season than the one they dealt with this year.

With the likes of Josh Anderson, Brendan Gallagher, Joel Armia and Cole Caufield all being right-shooting forwards, it could make it difficult for Ylönen to crack the roster next season in anything more than a 4th-line or extra forward role.

It won’t get any easier for him in terms of direct competition, as Joshua Roy, Emil Heineman, Riley Kidney, Sean Farrell and potentially even Filip Mesar will be jumping into the Montreal Canadiens organization full-time.

That being said, if the Montreal Canadiens do decide to keep Ylönen in the fold, which would be a very agreeable decision among fans, it means that Hughes succeeded in moving out some veterans between now and the NHL Trade Deadline.

He is the least likely of the trio to be dangled, but remains a player that opposing teams could request in order to even out a much bigger trade for the Canadiens.

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Pierre B.

You could have added Cayden Primeau who is in a situation similar to Jesse Ylönen. He too will be waivers-eligible next season. If the Montreal Canadiens do decide to keep Primeau in the fold, it means that Hughes succeeded in moving out Jake Allen, a veteran still ahead Primeau in the CH depth chart.


Yes, correct.


Dalibor Dvorsky is really impressing at the world u18 tournament. Too bad we couldn’t trade up from Florida’s pick ,( assuming they lose this series) ,with a package to get him . An all Slovak line for the future would be nice . Dave Poulin and Dave Reid are very impressed with him .

W H Twittle

If Habs slip down to pick #6 or pick #7, I wouldn’t be surprised or unhappy that Hughes would pick Dvorsky. Factoring in the probability that Michkov will fall out of the top ten, Dvorsky is a legitimate choice at 6 or 7. Habs can pick Honzek at #17 if they want to use the pick on a big prospect from Slovakia.


Benson is the better pick if the pick is in the 5-7 range…


Not so sure but I think Benson might drop down some on draft day . Most years we see a small forward drop a few spots at the draft . Caufield , Rossi and Savoie in recent years . I think some GMs will hesitate at taking a 5’9” , 163 lb winger in the top five or six picks . I’ll guess that HUGO will like a big skilled left shot center ahead of the smaller winger .


I would only move up Florida’s pick for mitchkov.


Add Engstrom to the conversation. Way too many LDmen on the team or in the pipeline. Package him with the 17th pick to move up to get RD Rinebacher. This one is simple…

Brian Chandler

Stay away from #80 period.


Who’s #80?

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