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Montreal Canadiens

Canadiens Should Break Age-Old Tradition At 2023 NHL Draft



Montreal Canadiens NHL Draft

The Montreal Canadiens haven’t been very aggressive in movement up at the NHL Draft, an age-old tradition that should end this year.

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

They were aggressive at the 2022 NHL Draft, but not when it came to improving their rank or jumping up for a player they coveted. They instead brokered two trades that landed them Kirby Dach, in an attempt to quickly inject youth in their lineup.

That being said, it’s been nine years since the Montreal Canadiens have traded up in a draft; opting mostly to trade down or trade out of a draft over the last decade.

The last time the Canadiens traded up in the first two rounds of an NHL draft was in 2010, when they moved up to select defenceman Jared Tinordi.

That may well change this summer though, as 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.”

There are two potential points in the draft where the Canadiens could truly benefit from moving up this season: the end of the 1st-round and the 2nd-round.

Moving Up Into The First Round

The Montreal Canadiens will likely have two picks between 31st 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.
At the 2022 NHL Draft, co-director of Amateur Scouting, Martin Lapointe, admitted the Canadiens tried to trade up in the first round to snag a player in the early 20s, but they couldn’t pull the trigger on a deal.
This year, things may be a little different, as there are likely to be some notable names that could fall down the ranks.

Such potential names could be the likes of Andrew Cristall, Brayden Yager, Gavin Brindley or even Quenton Musty falling into the 20-25 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 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.

Trading Back Into The 2nd Round?

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

There is expected to be some great talent in the 2nd-round this year, and only having one pick, albeit early on, could be a missed opportunity for the club.

Outside of a potential hockey trade, 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 Jacob 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 with the way the 2023 NHL Draft is shaping up.

Being proactive at the draft table has been extremely advantageous to other clubs like the Ottawa Senators and L.A. Kings in the past; and it could help the Canadiens add some quality players to their deep prospect pool.

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It would be a waste of a Draft pick to draft a goalie in the first 2 rounds. There is just no need to do so. As I have previously been stating (for 2 years now), Monty deserves a shot at being the future #1 in Montreal. It appears that he is going to get that chance. they also have Dobes in Laval. He has potential, so it is time to test him out too. In Laval first, then maybe the Habs, depending on how he fares in the AHL. Primeau may finally make the jump too, but I doubt it. They will either move him or take the risk of losing him on Waivers and send him back to Laval.

Pierre B.

A goalie selected in this draft will likely not get a real opportunity to play in the NHL before 4 years, probably as a backup at first. His selection will not affect Montembeault opportunity in the short term, and 4 years to the NHL is optimist for a prospect goalie making the NHL. Montembeault is currently 26-year-old. His birthday is October 30th, thus, he’ll be 27 next seaon. If Montembeault is still with the Canadiens, he’ll be 31. It would be wise to have at least one promising prospect in the pipeline to challenge him by then.

john harmsworth

There will be lots more trades over the next couple of years. Look for a chance to get a goalie who needs afresh start as a throw in on a deal.


Agree with the comments. Let Mambo do his thing for now. A goalie will pop up sooner than later at some point. I’d like to see us clear out some of the forwards we have that are blocking us from using all the young talent we have. Drouin is gone, Hoffman, Armia, Dvorak will not help us win a cup. I’d like to see us sign Monahan as a good veterean presence. If we can get a #3 pick or better for Edmundson, do it!. Matheson & Savard are good veterans along with our young defensemen. Guhle, Barron, Harris, & WiFi are there. Let them play!!

john harmsworth

Bingo. Monahan at the right price is worth taking a bit of a chance on. If he’s healthy and playing well, we trade him at the deadline for another first! Yippee!

Captain Kirk

We probably should draft one more goalie but like anything, it’s a lottery and anything can happen. I try not to get too deeply into ‘what if’ because so much can happen and if a person gets locked into one scenario, it starts to get frustrating if it doesn’t work the way yes think

john harmsworth

Trading a pick form the 2024 draft makes more sense, assuming we expect to finish higher this year. This is a stronger draft year anyway, I believe. I think we’re on a long term upward climb so let’s make some noise!