Connect with us

Montreal Canadiens

Canadiens Could Look To Trade Up At 2023 NHL Draft



Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens will have a few options leading up to the 2023 NHL Draft, and it appears that trading up could be high on their wishlist.

On a recent segment for TSN 690, NHL Insider Darren Dreger spoke about the Montreal Canadiens’ situation with the 5th overall pick and what their appetite would be to move the pick leading up to the 2023 NHL Draft.

“This isn’t hard news, but I think they’re interested in moving. I think they’re more interested in moving up rather than moving down,” said Dreger regarding the Canadiens’ potential draft strategy. “But things have been quiet in Montreal so far. You have a coveted pick in 5th overall, so you have to lean on your amateur scouts and figure out who the best possible player is that’s likely to be available. If you’re comfortable, then you don’t want to have to spend assets to move up. It’s the kind of thing that you don’t know until you get to Nashville and you start grinding it out.”

It’s no secret that the Montreal Canadiens are in a unique position at 5th overall, with an established group of five players sitting at the top of this impressive draft class.

With the speculation around Matvei Michkov‘s situation, and the possibility that he could slide to Montreal due to concerns over his development or ability to come to North America, the Canadiens could try to avoid the headache altogether by trading up to select one of Leo Carlsson or Will Smith.

The San Jose Sharks, who have said they would strongly consider Michkov with their selection at 4th overall, also traded back at the 2022 NHL Draft in order to recoup some assets and add more names to their barren prospect pool.

Should the Sharks settle on Michkov, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them look to trade down and create a bidding war to extract another high draft pick from teams like the Montreal Canadiens, Arizona Coyotes, or Philadelphia Flyers for the coveted 4th overall selection.

It would be extremely unlikely that the Canadiens could jump into the top-3 of this draft without giving up a significant asset, as the Chicago Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks and Columbus Blue Jackets seem to be locked in at those spots; outside of a massive overpay.

That being said, it’s not something that the Montreal Canadiens have confirmed on their end yet, as they are just starting to create their draft board.

But, the feeling is that their initial draft meetings will begin to set the stage for their 2023 NHL Draft strategy, and much of it will hinge on their evaluation of the top five prospects of this draft, Michkov’s situation and whether it’s worth paying a premium to control their fate on June 28.

Needless to say, for the Canadiens, they want to come out of this draft with a star; one way or another.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bay Bye

would be happy with Smith or Dobsky from Slovakia… rumors are rampart that his KHL team will blackmail him to staying there till 2028 and with his dad’s suspicious death due to wanting his son out of his KHL contract one has to wonder when they will do to him or his family


2028 – Suzuki will be 29 , Dach and Caufield 27 , Guhle and Barron 26 , Slafkovsky and Hutson 24
Michkov 23 . Just in time for the next dynasty.

Hoang Tran

What would it take to pick 3rd or 4th overall if you are Montreal ?


Trading up would be dumb. Trading down to seventh or eighth might be really smart if somebody offers a highly regarded prospect as there would likely still be at least two picks available that many scouts would have drifted in th no.#6 spot. Montreal might get lucky with Michkov, it’s possible they could demand a premium from a team that’s drafting 7 to10.


If we needed to flesh out the prospect pool with more depth, middle 6 forwards, or 3-4 D man, I’d agree. But we need top end talent. We are as close to being guaranteed that as is possible with a top 5 pick in this draft. And considering that all of the top 5 are projected to be top players, I don’t think we should trade up either. We’re in as good as spot as can be along with the others who have top 4 picks (obv CHI is in the best spot, but we’re all getting a great player).

Stand pat. Take a future star.


Carlsson or Michkov would be ideal but unlikely as they will probably go 3 and 4 leaving Smith, Dvorsky or possibly Leonard.
They could possibly move back to 8 or 9 and grab the RD.
Given the Habs have a lot of very good prospects but but so stars I think they won’t move backwards. They need BPA.


If we do a deal to move up to 1st, 2nd or 3rd I’m all for it. Getting any one of Bedard, Fantilli or Michkov moves the needle in a monumental to big way. Moving up 1 spot is pointless imo. There’s no chance Chicago trades the 1st pick (even though someone is going to write an article about the possibility as we approach the draft). There’s no chance Anaheim trades the 2nd pick either imo. I can see a possibility of Columbus dropping to 4th if they’re not interested in Michkov because they want one of Carlsson or Smith to play between Gaudreau and Laine. But, they run the risk of having the team that trades for the 3rd overall pick taking the C that the Blue Jackets actually want. So why bother trading the 3rd? Just take the guy you want to guarantee you get him. It’s the same for San Jose. It’s not the same for Montreal. If their goal is to get Michkov (and it should be) then moving up to 3rd is the only way to guarantee it. We are overstocked on LD and on the wings in both present NHLers and prospects. Packaging some of that excess with the 5th pick to guarantee we get Michkov wouldn’t be a bad thing. In reality I don’t see anything getting done though. I think there will be lots of chatter but nothing will come of it.


I’m fine with getting Smith with our pick. That will solidify Montreals Centers as Suzuki, Smith, Beck, and Kidney.


I’m all for a Trade-Up, as long as it does NOT involve that #5 pick! The price to pay, just to move up one or two measly spots, is not worth it. Just take Benson at #5. A fine winger with top 6 projection – just what Habs need. Not Mich or Smith, who would not play in NHL for at least three more seasons.

Trading up with our FLA 1st rd pick +++ to get RD Rinebacher…now you have my attention and approval.


I would love to see Montreal acquire two more 1st round draft picks. Picks in the 10- 20 spots… If they have 4 first round draft picks, they can easily afford to take a gamble on Michkov, because if Michkov doesn’t work out , the habs would have at least 3 other excellent prospects. Granted, to get those 2 extra first rounders, they are going to need to give up a lot so maybe they need to trade an Anderson or a Matheson along with a Harris or a Barron…Nobody is going to give up their first round pick unless they get something good in return, but it would be very interesting what the habs might do before draft day.. Lots of great prospects in round one ..It would be an incredibly exciting draft if the Canadians get 4 first rounders and of course the 37 th pick as well…

MHN 2023 NHL Draft

MHN in your inbox

Enter your email address and get all of our articles sent directly to your inbox

MHN on Facebook