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Canadiens Wrap

Habs Wrap: Trade Deadline, Zegras, Reinbacher, Draft Lottery



NHL Draft Montreal canadiens

MONTREAL — There’s never an end to Montreal Canadiens-related news, but it’s not always possible to stay up to date with every breaking story. On Sundays, we recap the most exciting and relevant NHL news stories that you may have missed throughout the week so that you can stay in the Habs loop.


  • ICYMI: The Montreal Canadiens lost 4-3 to the Washington Capitals on Saturday night, but it was certainly not a poor outing from Martin St-Louis’ troops. The newly formed Joshua Roy, Alex Newhook, and Joel Armia line found their rhythm, while Juraj Slafkovsky, Nick Suzuki, and Cole Caufield continued their excellent play on the top line. The game also featured a goal from blueliner Arber Xhekaj, who fulfilled his father’s pre-game wish. [Canadiens Xhekaj & Suzuki Star In Hard-Fought Loss Vs. Capitals]



  • As the NHL’s March 8 Trade Deadline looms, we took a look at whether the Montreal Canadiens could improve the four Canadian teams currently in a playoff position through a trade. As an aside, former Canadiens forward Sean Monahan scored a natural hat-trick on Monday against the Calgary Flames.  [Canadiens Trade Deadline: Assets That Could Improve Other Canadian Teams]


  • Many raised an eyebrow when the Canadiens selected Florian Xhekaj in the fourth round of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. To be fair, Xhekaj was not rated very highly by many outlets due to his low scoring rate, but he’s flipped the script since being given an opportunity to play in the top six. He’s almost tripled his production while scoring several highlight-reel goals.  [Habs Prospect Report: Florian Xhekaj Seizing His Opportunity]


  • The Laval Rocket announced they have signed veteran goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo to a one-year deal (2023-24). Kaskisuo, 30, has been excellent for the Rocket since joining the team in late December. He has a 5-1 record, not to mention a .923 save percentage. He has been instrumental in the Rocket’s chase for a playoff berth and has provided important insulation for prospect Jakub Dobes.


  • One of my favourite prospect analysts, David St-Louis, released a very interesting video documenting the recent changes and improvements in Slafkovsky’s play. As is always the case in hockey, keeping the statistics in mind is crucial, but so is analyzing actual footage. The stats tell us what happened, but the footage explains why it happened.




  • Head Coach Martin St-Louis took time to discuss Josh Anderson’s difficult season. Anderson, 29, has scored seven goals and eight assists in 51 games, a significant downtick in production compared to previous years. Fortunately for Anderson, his coach is not ready to give up on him yet.



  • We already covered the risks involved in trading for a player like Zegras. He’s certainly talented, and he’d provide the type of offensive boost the team desperately needs, but there are some red flags in his game. [Pros And Cons Of Potential Trevor Zegras Trade]


  • The Habs lost to the Sabres on Wednesday at the Bell Centre, but there were a few positive elements to take from the game. Notably, Joshua Roy continues to provide the Habs with quality hockey during most of his shifts. And we can’t ignore the play of Arber Xhekaj, who doesn’t just bring a much-needed physical element to the table, he also provides offence, and he happens to own the best underlying numbers of all defencemen this season. If you don’t understand why fans immediately made Xhekaj a fan favourite, you probably have a hard time understanding why people love watching hockey in the first place.  [Arber Xhekaj Dominant In Hard-Fought Loss To Buffalo]


  • There are still two Habs names appearing on most NHL trade bait boards: Tanner Pearson and Jake Allen. [TSN – Trade Bait Board]


  • The Habs were quite active on Thursday. The team announced they had claimed Pittsburgh Penguins centre Colin White on waivers. They also placed newly signed forward Brandon Giganc on the waiver wire, hoping to get him to Laval to provide the team’s AHL affiliate with much-needed reinforcements.  [Montreal Canadiens Use Waivers In Attempt To Improve Depth]



  • White did not have to travel far to join his new team, seeing as the Habs were already in Pittsburgh to face the Penguins. Unfortunately, it was far from a Canadiens debut to remember, as the Penguins beat the Canadiens 4-1. The Habs held an advantage in quality scoring chances, but they succumbed to their fatigue in the second half of the game.  [Tired Canadiens Fail To Capitalize On Their Chances In Pittsburgh]


  • Elliotte Friedman briefly mentioned the Canadiens in the latest edition of 32 Thoughts. He indicated Canadiens defenceman David Savard is not interested in leaving Montreal. [32 Thoughts]


  • With less than 25 games left on the docket, we’re starting to get a better of where the Montreal Canadiens will draft with their own pick at the 2024 NHL Entry Draft. As it stands, they have low odds of picking in the top five, but thanks to their upcoming strength of schedule there’s a decent possibility they’ll drop further down the standings.  [Montreal Canadiens Outlook: Improving NHL Draft Lottery Odds]


  • We established three different scenarios that will impact top prospect David Reinbacher’s arrival in North America. The third scenario involves Reinbacher avoiding a second playout series entirely if neither Visp nor Olten are crowned Swiss League champions. Unfortunately for those hoping to see Reinbacher arrive soon, as stands, both Visp and Olten are still leading their quarter-final series and are on the cusp of punching their ticket to the semi-finals. [Canadiens Prospect Reinbacher’s Expected North American Arrival]

montreal canadiens visp olten


  • Forward Brandon Gignac went unclaimed, which means the Laval Rocket will receive some much-needed reinforcements as they continue to fight for a playoff spot.


  • As for the prospects, Lane Hutson registered another two-point game when Boston University defeated UConn 6-1.

  • Jacob Fowler and the Boston College Eagles easily dismissed Vermont by a score of 7-1. It was Fowler’s NCAA-leading 23rd win of the season.