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Montreal Canadiens

Canadiens Hughes Hints At Increased Trade Activity This Summer



Montreal Canadiens GM Kent Hughes

The Montreal Canadiens have added more picks leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline, setting up what is likely to be an active summer.

The Canadiens were able to trade Sean Monahan and Jake Allen leading up to the March 8 trade deadline, netting a 2024 1st-round pick and a conditional 2025 3rd-round pick in the process.

Adding those picks to their growing collection over the next two drafts has equipped the club to improve their club further this summer, and that’s exactly what general manager Kent Hughes hinted at during this press conference on Friday afternoon.

“I guess we’ve been buyers to a certain degree at the drafts and been sellers at the trade deadline,” said Hughes in regards to when the Canadiens will finally look to add rather than subtract from their roster. “If we see another opportunity again at the draft, we’ll look to continue that path.”

Hughes pointed out how the Canadiens have been sellers at the deadline, but buyers at the NHL Draft effectively sets the stage for the club to be aggressive yet again in trading some futures to acquire a young asset that could help the Canadiens speed up their rebuild.

Similar to last year, NHL betting odds project the Montreal Canadiens to pick in the top 10 yet again at the upcoming 2024 NHL Draft, and, although they could realistically draft a very good youngster like Berkly Catton, Ivan Demidov or Cole Eiserman; those players won’t be able to help the club in a meaningful way for another few years.

This is where Hughes’ comments as summertime buyers become ever-more telling. In the same way that the Canadiens were able to leverage an excess on defence or draft picks to acquire Kirby Dach and Alex Newhook in the past, the Montreal Canadiens appear primed and ready to do it all again this summer.

“We weren’t rushed to trade anybody (with term remaining on their contract) out of the lineup. It’s not something that usually happens at the trade deadline; it’s usually something that happens at the draft or during the offseason,” said Hughes in regards to not making bolder trades prior to March 8. “Normally, the deadline is for “buyers” and “sellers” and few hockey trades ever go happen. We talk all year and set the groundwork, so nothing is stopping us from making those trades in May, June or July.”

They’ve already been confirmed to have at least inquired on the availability of Trevor Zegras from the Anaheim Ducks, and more of these highly-skilled youngsters will likely be added to their short-list.

With two 1st-round picks in both the 2024 and 2025 NHL Drafts respectively, as well as an overwhelming amount of young, talented defencemen; it’s a safe bet to assume the Canadiens will be going shopping this summer for help up front.

*For more NHL betting lines and futures, head over to FanDuel