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Habs Prospects

Pre-Draft Nerves Improve Odds Demidov Available To Canadiens



montreal canadiens ivan demidov

The 2024 NHL Entry Draft is a little more than two weeks away, and seeing as the Montreal Canadiens own two picks in the first round, there’s a growing sense of anticipation among fans.

The buzz surrounding the fifth overall pick is particularly noticeable, as this draft is yet to establish a consensus order following the No.1 overall pick, Macklin Celebrini.

Habs fans have made it quite clear, they want the team to draft a forward to bolster the prospect pool with a game-changing player who possesses elite offensive potential.

In a recent poll, over 97.1 of the votes cast were in favour of the team drafting a forward, with three players garnering the bulk of the attention. Tij Iginla received strong support despite not being projected as a guaranteed top 10 pick, as evidenced by his 17.2 percent share of the votes. Power forward Cayden Lindstrom received the second-most votes, with 29.9 percent of Canadiens fans suggesting he’d be an ideal draft pick.

However, the player Canadiens fans desire most when it comes to the fifth overall pick at the 2024 NHL Entry Draft overshadowed all options, as Russian forward Ivan Demidov led the charge with 39.2 percent of the votes.

MUST READ: Habs Fans Vote – Most Wanted 2024 NHL Draft Target

Demidov is considered the second-most talented player in the draft, which means the odds that he’ll slide to fifth aren’t exactly great, but as we saw last year when Matvei Michkov, considered second-most talented player in the draft, fell to seventh overall, it’s impossible to anticipate how certain teams will weigh risk factors.

According to Cam Robinson, while many teams readily admit he’s incredibly talented, few were willing to commit to drafting him with a top five pick.

This could all be smoke and mirrors, but considering the Canadiens have openly admitted they’re intent on drafting a forward, you’d be hard-pressed to argue this is not a fantastic situation should the stars align to make Demidov available at fifth overall.

As Jeff Gorton explained last summer before the Canadiens drafted defenceman David Reinbacher, the opportunities to acquire elite offensive talent are few and far between in the NHL.

Landing Ivan Demidov would be an opportunity the Canadiens simply could not ignore.

A player with his elite skill set would certainly go a long way in ensuring the team’s prospect pool would no longer be considered a very long list of players with limited offensive potential.


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John Smith

Based on the video provided here, the kid is unusually slippery, slick and deceptive. Such play is essential come playoff time where defenseman contain or restrain talent.

The million dollar question is his character. Will he show up like Kucherov or go the route of a Kostysn?

Does he have the psychological makeup to withstand the Montreal pressure cooker?

How teachable is he? Will he take in Montreal’s development team’s sage advice? Will the language barrier be a problem on this matter?

My other concern is his knees. Apparently, he has an issue with one of them. How much is this the result of his 10-2 O’clock skating style?

Wouldn’t it be awesome to finally have an electrifying forward on the Habs?


Kostitsyn should not have been picked he had epilepsy, another Hab pick Brad Brown also had seizures. Pretty sad how they wasted some picks.


Durability is that factor we won’t know about for years. Everyone gets injured at some point. It’s an injury sport.


We do. His name is Caufield. Scoring 40-60 goals this upcoming season. Right on plan as knew he wouldn’t be great first following last summer.


When thinking of Russian superstars, invariably it’s always a great skater. From Kaprizov to Ovie, Kuch, Bure, Mogilny, Panarin ,Datsyuk, Malkin, Federov etc, skating is the foundation. This video assessment does not lead me to believe he’s a plus skater, seems like average speed but excellent at swiveling, with plus other skills like passing, deking, and stick handling, which will make him a productive NHL player.

However, I’m less convicted about him as I’m not sure he’s going to be really hard to play against like some other options thst might be available and also that might be better scorers and offer a larger physical impact. That seems to be more critical in June.

John Smith

Fair enough Dana. You make valid points.

For me, most 18 year prospects olds are incomplete. They need 4-5 years of refining. I am impressed by his unusual moves.

He’s like a person that I know who in high school had flashes of brilliance but marks wise was a solid B student. He just couldn’t put things together just yet. Fast forward 4 years later, he out did all of us. The secret to his success was his burning desire to be better- an education version of Martin St Louis.

If Demidov has such a will, he too can be great. Does he? I’m not a scout, just a fan.

I remember seeing Nathan Bouleau (sp-1) at an AHL game and he did this one move that was jaw droppingly good. That move convinced me that he would be a superstar. I was very wrong. So, maybe what I see is something special using the eye test but other factors, like I mentioned above will prevent him from reaching his full potential.

I’m just speculating here.

John Smith

One more point. I strongly believe that the key to the success of Russian hockey players is gymnastics. Unlike our culture which sadly derides it as effeminate, gymnasts hard wires the brain for agility, poise and balance. It’s like learning piano and then easily picking up another instrument. I’m not sure what the numbers are today but in the early 2000s, there were 70,000 registered Russian hockey players while Canada had 500,000 and yet, look at how many Russians were top 20 scorers. The other factor is that Russians get more free play time on frozen lakes and ponds rather than our rather regimented drills oriented approach to training. This free time allows for greater experimentation and creativity. This same concept applies to inner city kids who spend hours on outdoor courts.


Most people I know don’t view gymnastics as being effeminate at all. Many people understand the value in gymnastics. Maybe it depends on the people you know? Nick Suzuki for example went to London Waldorf School for the Arts and he took up painting when he was young. Nick credits his unusual educational upbringing for his great hockey sense and his ability to think outside the box. Taking up gymnastics or learning different ways to improve your body and your mind are very valuable tool for any athlete. Click the link below:

John Smith

Perhaps I was not clear in my phrasing Albert. Doing gymnastics is good. I have 2 daughters about the age of Nick Suzuki and younger who were enrolled in gymnastics classes. It helped them tremendously in athletics including one who had coordination issues that soon ended after doing this sport for a year. At the time, there were hundreds of kids enrolled and I can’t recall any males taking up this sport. Perhaps this is an anomaly. Hopefully, things have changed. Maybe they haven’t. What can I say, I saw what I saw, not what I wanted to see. I believe gymnastics is more popular in Russia than here. And this sport puts Russian hockey players at a distinct advantage despite being lower in terms of registered numbers. That’s all.


Gymnastics can be very helpful, but it should be noted that gymnasts are athletes that have the most injuries.
Sports Injury Prevention | Gymnastics | Boston Children’s Hospital (


Don’t get me wrong John, no tears would be shed by me if he wears our colors, I could see him being our top point producer down the road a few years. I never thought we had a legitimate shot at him until recently. I agree that he is very elusive and Uber talented. I didn’t count , but there were many examples of him being first on a shoot-in puck and making terrific plays to own the puck and create high quality chances. Likewise he stripped a bunch of pucks from defenders and stoke pucks off the boards. Lots to like.
He stayed top 3 all year on most lists. He will produce. But the points about his edge work and his top end speed are my areas of concern. Every prospect has areas of concern so no slight, just a fans assessment. And where Hughes commented about seeking big game guys when drafting, I wonder if he’d prefer the goal scorers mentality and physicality of a Lindstrom or Iginla. I think all 3 would be great additions and I would be thrilled with any of them.

Ps if they get him, I hope they hire Kovalev

John Smith

Great idea!


Everything he does sounds similar to Hudson only he is a forward.


I really enjoy reading articles from this website. I also find the writers to be very good so I’m surprised when someone writes something that seems to be inaccurate. Tij Iginla is admittedly a late riser but virtually all recent NHL Mock drafts now have him comfortably in the Top 10. Craig Button has Iginla at #4. There are some exceptions but the majority have Iginla going in Top 10 for sure.


I’m not sure if it would be enough, even then, for Habs to take Demidov. One of the biggest reasons Hughes and the other top teams passed on Michkov was because of the lack of viewing opportunities. Due to war restrictions that don’t make a lot of sense to me, teams just don’t get to see Russian prospects play LIVE. The lack of live viewings was enough to convince Hughes at least not to take a chance on Michkov.

To be clear, I believe the two players and their draft situations are different in that there were issues with Mitchkov (real and perceived) that don’t seem to be there with Demidov. I think I saw a much better highlight package with Demidov than Mitchkov, I think they showed the same 2 moves over and over. Plus, Demidov is rated 2nd despite the Russian factor, and while Mitchkov might have been considered 2nd best last year, he wasn’t ranked there.

I won’t be unhappy if the Habs come away with Demidov, Lindstrom or Iginla at 5th overall. I wish the talk of Eiserman and Sennecke would quit, neither is going 5th overall, period. The only way Habs take either of those two is if they trade down, and I can’t see that happening.


Wonder the trade value would be for montreal to get first pick from san jose

Moris Rosa

We cant waste that pick on a Russian player, we can’t afford a floor falling out type player , get a big north American forward that ensures at least reaching the NHL , work ethic , physicality and size are most important for us.


The Habs need to take the best available player…. If Kent and Jeff can pull off a trade for a forward with offensive talent, then this will be moot, but I prefer best available, even if a studly RH Dman…… Demidov, Lindstrom, etc. They all have upside and downside… The question is are the Habs looking for biggest upside or biggest floor and how the predicted development timeline fits with the current core. Trading down could be interesting if they are looking for Sennecke or Eiserman (who needs to change the spelling to Yzerman)….. GHG