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Canadiens Wrap: Habs Trade Assets, 2024 NHL Draft, Hughes

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Montreal Canadiens GM Kent Hughes

MONTREAL — There’s never a dull moment when it comes to Montreal Canadiens hockey, 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 Canadiens loop.

 

Monday

 

  • Juraj Slafkovsky is a popular player in Montreal, but his popularity among Slovak fans is yet to be matched in Canada. The young forward attracts throngs of national fans whenever he plays in Europe.

  • If you missed Slafkovsky in action at the World Championship versus Kazakhstan, make sure to check out this thread by the Habs Reddit account on Twitter, which isolated some of his plays, not to mention a rather funny reaction to complaints from opposing players.  [Habs Reddit]

Tuesday

  • The Montreal Canadiens were among the teams interested in KHL standout Maxim Tsyplakov. The 25-year-old winger scored 31 goals and 17 assists in 65 games for Spartak Moscow. It was a significant uptick in production compared to his first four seasons in the league, with his 18% shooting percentage standing out as a red flag, but there’s very little risk associated with signing a free agent. (Update: Tsyplakov signed a one-year contract with the New York Islanders.) [Scouting Profile: Canadiens Interest in KHL Standout Maxim Tsyplakov]

 

  • Even though Martin St-Louis did not have any professional experience before taking over as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens he has quickly earned the trust of the fans, management, and most importantly the players. Former NCAA player Cam Weitzman gives us insight into St-Louis’ ability to relate to his players and the impact it has on their growth. [Player Insight: Why St-Louis Is The Perfect Canadiens Coach]

 

  • In part two of ‘State Of The Rebuild Series – NHL Trades’ we examine some of the most important trades made by Kent Hughes during his two-year tenure with the team. He had some unforced errors, but his handling of the Sean Monahan situation was as close as it gets to asset management perfection. [Montreal Canadiens State Of the Rebuild – Grading Trades (Part 2)]

Wednesday

  • The Montreal Canadiens have confirmed their intent to be as active as they can on the trade front, and they have some interesting pieces they can offer. When General Manager Kent Hughes and EVP Jeff Gorton sat down for their end-of-season press conference, they didn’t shy away from their desire to make moves this summer; intending to improve the club’s long-term success. [Canadiens Best Trade Assets Going Into The NHL Draft]

 

  • Juraj Slafkovsky scoring his 20th goal in the final game of the season was quite entertaining, especially since it was assisted by Lane Hutson. On that note, the goal will have an impact on the team’s 2024-25 salary cap outlook, as it was part of several bonuses paid out to various Canadiens players. [Canadiens Dead Cap Hit Impact On 2024-25 Salary Cap Situation]

 

  • The Columbus Blue Jackets are interested in hiring former general manager Marc Bergevin. Given the information that has emerged from his time with the team, the Blue Jackets will want to perform due diligence before hiring Bergevin and his domineering character. [Buyer Beware: Blue Jackets Interested In Former Habs GM Bergevin]

 

  • PWHL Montreal was eliminated in three straight games by Boston, owing to a lack of depth throughout the Montreal lineup. Stars such as Marie-Philip Poulin are important, but it’s virtually impossible for a hockey player to win a game single-handedly.

  • Juraj Slafkovsky is always appreciative of the immense fan support he receives in Montreal, as well as the national team fans that are proud to see him represent Slovakia.

Thursday

  • Our Montreal Canadiens ‘State Of The Rebuild’ series continues with an evaluation of the work done by Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes in the last two seasons. They’re far from perfect. No one is. But they’ve managed to gain the confidence of the majority of Habs fans while working toward a brighter future, a difficult proposal for any market, let alone Montreal. [Montreal Canadiens State Of The Rebuild – Management]

 

  • Don’t look now, but prospect Oliver Kapanen leads the 2024 World Championship in goal scoring, with five goals in three games. Kaiden Guhle has also enjoyed a solid stretch from an offensive standpoint, as evidenced by his four points in three games, one of the best production rates from any defenceman participating in the tournament.  [Canadiens World Championship Update: Kapanen, Guhle, Slafkovsky]

 

  • Juraj Slafkovsky has maintained a point-per-game pace at the World Championship, earning four assists in four games. Team Slovkia emerged with an easy 4-0 win against Poland on Wednesday, their third win of the tournament.

 

  • Speaking of Team Slovakia, former Hab Tomas Tatar is enjoying a fantastic as captain of his national side. We’re not here to suggest he should still be a crucial part of the Canadiens lineup, but it is fair to say his short but productive time in Montreal was truly underrated.

  • Speaking of former Habs, Artturi Lehkonen continues to be a dominant force in the playoffs. The 28-year-old scored his 23rd playoff goal on Wednesday against the Dallas Stars.

Friday

  • Montreal Canadiens defenceman Kaiden Guhle is already trusted with absorbing some of the most important minutes in the lineup, but he will have to take the next step in his evolution if he’s to become a bonafide top-pairing player. To do that, the Habs will have to adjust his usage. [How Kaiden Guhle Can Take The Next Step In His Career]

 

  • Speaking of Guhle, the 22-year-old blue liner helped Team Canada cruise past Norway at the 2024 World Championship. By registering his fifth point of the tournament, Guhle trails only defencemen Erik Karlsson and Roman Josi in scoring.

  • Forward Cole Caufield is yet to find the back of the net for Team USA. He was held off the board in Thursday’s 5-0 win over France. As it stands. Caufield has registered two assists in four games. On a more positive note, he did take time to discuss Juraj Slafkovsky’s impressive growth in the final months of the season.

  • Finland lost to Austria on Thursday, but not before Canadiens prospect Oliver Kapanen scored his sixth goal of the tournament in just his fourth game. He continues to lead all players in goal-scoring at the World Championship.

 

Saturday

  • After Macklin Celebrini, there is perhaps no pure goal-scorer who could fill the Montreal Canadiens’ need for goals quite like Cole Eiserman. Although he may not be the favourite of the public scouting community, many NHL scouts remain intrigued by how good a player he could become down the line, as he seeks to diversify his game at the college level. To dive deeper into Eiserman’s game and his mindset moving forward, Montreal Hockey Now sat down with the prolific goalscorer earlier this week. [Canadiens 2024 NHL Draft Targets: The Intrigue Of Cole Eiserman]

 

  • Forward Cole Caufield got off the schneid at the 2024 World Championship. He scored two goals as the United States beat Poland 4-1.

 

  • Consequently, he was named the Player of the Game.

  • Apparently, Juraj Slafkovsky is not a fan of captive animals.

  • Finland lost to Austria on Thursday, but not before Canadiens prospect Oliver Kapanen scored his sixth goal of the tournament in just his fourth game. He continues to lead all players in goal-scoring at the World Championship.