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Montreal Canadiens

Canadiens Likely To Move Florida’s Pick As Rank Drops



Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens have mentioned their openness to move Florida’s 1st-round pick for younger talent, a desire that may increase as said pick drops in rank.

It’s not too long ago that the Florida Panthers were at a 3-1 series deficit against the Boston Bruins and looking at a 1st-round exit out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

A loss in either of the first two rounds would have ensured the Canadiens would have received the 17th overall pick from Florida, being the last team to qualify for the playoffs.

In a stroke of playoff miracles, the Panthers not only roared back to beat the Bruins, but are one game away from sweeping the Toronto Maple Leafs and punching their ticket to the Conference Finals.

Should they succeed, the Panthers’ pick would drop from 17th overall to 29th overall, as the final four teams in the playoffs receive the final four picks in each round of the NHL Draft Lottery.

There’s a sharp difference in value between the 17th and 29th overall picks, meaning that it would be even less likely that the Canadiens would keep their selection should it drop.

On The Move?

Last season, the Canadiens held the 26th overall pick, but the organization admitted that they were looking for ways to trade up to select a highly coveted player they really liked.

It, unfortunately, didn’t work out for the Canadiens, who weren’t ready to sacrifice the 26th (Filip Mesar) and 33rd (Owen Beck) picks, just to move up a few spots.

However, this year, it seems Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton want to be a little more aggressive at the draft table.

“I think we’re in a good position where we have a lot assets, good young players, a lot of draft picks. We have the leverage to make some deals and do those kinds of things,” said EVP Jeff Gorton regarding the Canadiens’ strategy at the Draft. “I would expect that we would be active at the draft and push it along as far as we can. We’ll all cross our fingers at the Lottery. I think we’re in a really good spot, and our scouts think we’re going to get a really good player.”

Given the incredible depth in this 2023 NHL Draft, it wouldn’t be outlandish to see this pick coupled with another to watch the Canadiens move up and seek to acquire more quality over quantity.

The Montreal Canadiens have one of the deepest prospect pools in the league, but sorely lack star power, which Gorton has hinted might prompt them to be more aggressive than last year.

Bigger Trade

There’s also the bigger possibility of packaging the pick in a larger trade for a more established young player that could help push the Montreal Canadiens’ rebuild forward, in the same way that Kirby Dach has.

With the possibility of trading other veterans leading up to the draft like Joel Edmundson or Mike Hoffman, the Canadiens could acquire additional assets needed to make bigger moves, and this pick could be the final bargaining chip needed to close the deal.

The Canadiens will be picking shortly after the 29th selection, as their 2nd-round pick is locked in at 37th overall, so sacrificing one or the other wouldn’t be a huge loss if it returns something of notable value.

Rumoured targets like Pierre-Luc Dubois come to mind when it related to moving a later pick of the sort.

The Montreal Canadiens will have many options available to them, and simply having a pick drop from 17th to 29th isn’t what’s going to make or break their draft, but it’s certainly going to incentivize the organization to be even more aggressive leading up to June 28.

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John Stone

id use it for a goalie. But that’s just me.. if it makes sense to trade the pick by all means do so.. but im confident enough we have good players being properly developed this time around. So why not use it to either a) select a goalie or b) trade the pick for a goalie.. But time will tell..



Too bad they didn’t deal the pick Before the start of the playoffs.


I’m all for packaging the Florida pick and our depth to move up into the top 10-12. If we aren’t getting that high up in the draft, I’m not sure the payoff would be worth the assets it’ll take to move up though. We have way too many Dmen and forwards so clearing some out is absolutely necessary. How about an article on what teams would be willing to move their pick and what it would take to get them to part with it?

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