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Montreal Canadiens

Potential Summer Trade Candidates For Montreal Canadiens



Montreal Canadiens Trade Targets

The Montreal Canadiens will be looking to add a scoring forward to their ranks this summer, and there are a few options that could fit the bill.

With the season coming to a close and the NHL Draft Lottery odds becoming clearer, the Canadiens are going to look to build on this season and push for the NHL playoffs next spring.

For NHL betting odds to project a rise in the standings for the Montreal Canadiens, something must be done to improve their forward corps for next season; and the natural improvement of their youth is simply not enough.

Yes, the progress of youngsters like Juraj Slafkovsky, Nick Suzuki, Joshua Roy and Alex Newhook has been notable, but the lack of goal-scoring at forward is simply too strong to overlook.

With an overabundance of young defencemen, some cap space and a haul of draft picks over the next two drafts, the Montreal Canadiens have the opportunity to add a significant piece to their rebuild.

Let’s look over some options:


Trevor Zegras

This is likely not a shock to anyone, but Trevor Zegras could be moved this summer by the Anaheim Ducks, as the 23-year-old has simply not lived up to standards under new head coach Greg Cronin.

After a very heated contract negotiation that forced Zegras to miss training camp, along with some untimely injuries, it has been a season to forget for the young forward; and a change of scenery is likely in order.

With Slafkovsky and Suzuki finding significant chemistry this past season, having Cole Caufield run shotgun on a second line alongside his good friend Zegras and a returning Kirby Dach could finally give the Canadiens the basis for two strong scoring lines for years to come.

There may be those who worry about Zegras’ commitment to the defensive end and supposed attitude issues, but, after some digging, all those in the know shot down most of these concerns; referring to them as “fabricated” or “exaggerated”.

With two 65-point seasons already under his belt, there’s reason to believe that Zegras would easily be able to bounce back in a high-tempo, offensive environment like that which Montreal is trying to build up.

One has to think that, with the season he’s having, the price point won’t be as astronomical as originally thought. The Canadiens have been confirmed to be keeping tabs on the player, but Ducks GM, Pat Verbeek, has refused to entertain a trade.

With the way this season has played out, Zegras will very likely be in play.


Martin Necas

The Carolina Hurricanes are seemingly at a crossroads when it comes to their roster, and a talented forward may be sacrificed to maintain cap flexibility and keep key roster players in the fold.

As it stands, the Hurricanes have eight pending free agents and three pending restricted free agents; with only a projected $30M left to sign them all.

Among that group is newly acquired winger Jake Guentzel, breakout youngster Seth Jarvis, veteran Teuvo Teräväinen and key defencemen Brady Skjei and Brett Pesce.

MUST READ: Montreal Canadiens Salary Cap Outlook For 2024-25 Gives Team Interesting Options

To keep all of these players onboard and maintain the Hurricanes’ competitive window, Necas, who is a restricted free agent himself and looking for a handsome raise, may need to be dangled.

The 25-year-old, who broke out last season with a 71-point campaign, is on pace for another productive season this year with 23 goals and 52 points in 70 games. A speedy winger, who stands at 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, Necas would be able to inject the rare combination of adequate size, skill and speed that the Canadiens have coveted since GM Kent Hughes and EVP Jeff Gorton took over the reins.

With Carolina not having a veteran defenceman signed beyond the end of the 2024-2025 season, and only Alexander Nikishin and Scott Morrow as legitimate defensive prospects with NHL potential, the Canadiens could make for an intriguing trade partner.


Kent Johnson

The least proven on the list, but perhaps the player with the most amount of pure potential, Kent Johnson could be an interesting player to look at with new management coming in for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Having a plethora of young talent coming in and another top-5 pick likely in the cards for Columbus, Johnson could be an interesting trade chip for the club to gain more assets to improve at other positions or advance their rebuild properly.

With Columbus owning just one pick in the first two rounds, the Canadiens could make for intriguing trade partners; as they have a wealth of picks and prospects that could be used as trade bait, along with some NHL-ready defencemen who could instantly jump into Columbus’ lineup.

An argument could be made that Patrick Laine could be a better trade option here, considering his poor season; but the $8.7M cap hit and the baggage that has followed him may be too much of a red flag for the Canadiens to consider it; making Johnson a much more palatable option.

The talented forward finds himself in an almost identical situation to that of Kirby Dach with the Chicago Blackhawks; showing promise in his rookie season, only to be mired by a lack of opportunity and injuries that seemingly killed his momentum.

After just coming off of successful shoulder surgery and already having a 40-point campaign under his belt, Johnson could be a sneaky good add for a Montreal Canadiens roster that has had success in their recent reclamation projects.

Johnson may be the least proven of the bunch, but he could be the biggest value acquisition between the three above.

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

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I would expect the management to do a lot of investigating before going after zegras.
I like both Johnson and necas but they project more as playmakers like Zuke/Newk/Roy

That said, any of these three would make us better..I think Johnson would be “cheapest”.


Why mention Zegras I thought Montreal only wanted character players and he is certainly not that.


Love all 3 of these guys for the skills they’d add to the top 6, and, if we got both Zegras and Johnson, we’d lead the league in lacrosse style goals! 😁 When we first started blowing up the roster for the rebuild, Johnson was a guy I hoped we would target, but I didn’t think there was any chance CLB would part with him. But, if that situation has changed, we should jump all over it!


By my count, Habs have 21 players under contract for next season, 13 forwards, 6 d and 2 goalies. Cap hit of about $65 m, plus retained salary on Petry and Allen of just over 4 m, so about $70 m already committed for next season. Still have Price under contract, but his massive cap hit they can of course move to LTIR as they’ve done the past few seasons.

As for adding Necas, sure. Montreal has the prospects to deal in order to make the trade happen. He’s due a new contract and north of $7 m AAV sounds about right, so as long as Gorton is good with that, then yes.


I’d rather have Crosby at 8.7 if he’s available.




Because Crosby and Suzuki would be a great duo at the top of our centre position. He grew up a fan and would fit in perfectly.


To use the LTIR “properly” Mtl has to be compliant on the first day of the season…then put price on LTIR. Forcing that issue to acquire a “nice” player is not worth it. We have a few players who will no longer be able to go to laval without clearing waivers.


Both Guentzel and Rheinhart are free agents which cost no picks or prospects and automatically up our scoring game. Get one or both.


Hard to imagine either player would want to sign on for a rebuild, and I’m not sure the time is now to go after a top free agent. That said, Hughes will do his due diligence, and if it turns out either was willing to come to Montreal, he’d be foolish to not at least investigate.


absolutely wrong (IMO) Rheinhart is unlikely to match this years production and both he and guentzel are too “old” for this team’s window. BOTH are VERY good players but timing and COST is wrong.


Of those mentioned, I can’t see any of those trades working except the Zegras deal. Laine isn’t worth trading for, he’s way too expensive, can’t play defence, and has never lived up to the hype surrounding him. He is the exact type of player WE DO NOT WANT in Montréal: low production, high salary, not a 2 way player and he is currently in the player assistance program. I also very much doubt they’ll give up on Kent Johnson this quickly.

The last thing this team needs is another high talent, overpaid head case of a player, and that describes Laine to a tee. We just got rid of Drouin, who I think has scored more in 1 year for the Avs than he did his entire time in Montréal, and the last thing we need is to be taking stupid chances and wasting valuable assets on players like Laine.


If they want to take Gally or Anderson 1 for 1
I might consider Laine who is at a way higher salary
But 1 year less term and i think we can motivate him
Then agian i could be wrong and it wont really matter much
The difference between a Laine and Anderson isnt much these days production wise
20 pts for 3.2 million more then Andesons over paid salary

But we have the cap and Laine’s low point still outscored all but like 4 habs last year.


Maybe they should try to acquire former first round pick Ryan Suzuki. Since he is an AHL player they can pay him the league minimum salary. Like his brother he is a very smart player.


Johnson is the highest pick and youngest of the 3. I’m not a Columbus fan and have rarely watched him. Since this is all purely speculation, why not Kakko, Holtz, Jack Quinn, or Marco Rossi. Askarov woukd be high on my list.

And why not Guentzal or Sam Reinhart? Or Draisaitl the following summer? We are not far from the playoffs. My expectation would be for them to be competing for the Cup in 2026-27. Players and agents see what’s happening here.. Hughes has the Cap savvy to acquire a couple of premium guys in their prime ( stay away from past the their prime guys) as they don’t subtract from the roster or cost draft capital or other assets.