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Montreal Canadiens

Potential Trade-Up Options For Canadiens At 2023 NHL Draft



Montreal Canadiens hughes

With three picks in the first 37 selections of the 2023 NHL Draft, the Montreal Canadiens will have options.

General manager Kent Hughes and executive vice-president Jeff Gorton have indicated that they’d like to be even more aggressive on the draft floor this year.

“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 Gorton during the Montreal Canadiens’ end-of-season press conference, “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.”

With that said, they have multiple options ahead of them that could make things even more entertaining.

Moving Up Into The Top-5

This is likely the option that is going to be the most attractive to the Montreal Canadiens management team, as jumping up even a spot or two would allow them to dictate their fate with the remaining available players at the top.

However, that won’t be an easy task, as the Columbus Blue Jackets and San Jose Sharks, the two teams picking 3rd and 4th overall respectively, need to get a star player out of this draft just as much as the Canadiens.

Jumping up would easily cost them Florida’s 1st-round pick, which is now expected to fall between 29th and 32nd overall, along with additional assets, which might make the cost too rich for the Canadiens.

However, if the Montreal Canadiens want to avoid the Matvei Michkov dilemma and select one of Leo Carlsson or Will Smith, it could be the way to go for the Habs.

Moving Up Into The First Round

The Montreal Canadiens will likely have two picks between 29th overall and 37th overall, which could be packaged, if need be, to move up further into the 1st round, should a player the Canadiens covet begin to fall down the rankings.

Such potential names could be the likes of Andrew Cristall, Brayden Yager, Gavin Brindley or even Quinton Musty falling into the 20-24 range; leaving the door wide open for the Canadiens to swoop in and take a top talent.

The pick they’d package along with Florida’s 1st round pick (29th to 32nd) would likely dictate how far the Canadiens could jump, as the 37th overall pick could help them rise between three and five spots, while their 3rd-round pick could give them a boost of two spots.

Either way, the Montreal Canadiens, who missed out on trading up at last year’s draft, look to want to be more aggressive this year.

Trading Back Into The 2nd Round?

As of this junction, the Canadiens only have one pick in the second round at 37th overall.

They have a very early 3rd round pick at 69th overall, but they’d need to add a sweetener if they’d like to get themselves in striking distance of a good pick in the second round.

With the Canadiens owning three fourth-round picks and two 5th-round picks, they would have the ammo to jump up in the second round and potentially draft a goaltender like Jacb Fowler or Trey Augustine if still available, while not having to sacrifice their 37th overall pick on a goalie too early, as some top skaters could be available at that rank.

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john harmsworth

They really need to nail down what is happening with Dubois in order to plan their future and decide what positions they want to pick for and what their salary situation will look like in 3-5 years. If he’s in place on a long term contract, they need to fill out the D with a right shot difference maker and build out the wings, while finding a goaltender fit for a contender. We really aren’t that far off, if Guhle and Xekai keep progressing, Hutson achieves and Dach grows into the 2C role, we are a pretty good team. After that it’s a question of how much desire they have. Hopefully we don’t have to go through the wasted years like the Leafs.


Just take the best player available (“best” as in likely to develop into the best player). It’s the best form of asset management. It maximizes value. There’s a decent chance that it ends up being a centre in this draft leaving PLD to not be needed as Smith and Carlsson likely have higher ceilings. All we need is someone to take Michkov and our draft pick fills multiple holes. But if Michkov is available, take him cuz he’s amazing, and try to get PLD in free agency. There’s too much smoke around him wanting to come to mtl for there to not be fire. Giving up assets at such a crucial point in the rebuild if we don’t need to is silly.

My guess, one of those two Cs is available, we take them, and if PLD will take a discount in free agency we grab him too but if not, oh well.


I think centres will take preference and then their is still a size bias so maybe we can one day see Caulfield and mitchkov together destroy. At least on the pp. Suzuki would be setting up the open man. 😃

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