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Gary Bettman
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5th overall pick for the Habs: What If?

Published April 18, 2024 at 7:39 PM
BY CARL VAILLANCOURT
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With the 28th rank in the overall standings, the Montreal Canadiens will have the fifth highest percentage of winning the lottery in a few days. Even though the odds are relatively low at 8.5% chance of securing the first pick in the amateur draft, what will Kent Hughes do if he manages to obtain this top pick?

The draw will take place on May 6th or 7th. The date doesn't seem to be fixed yet at this point.

On one side of the ocean, Canadian Macklin Celebrini is on everyone's lips, while Russian forward Ivan Demidov represents the finest offensive talent in Europe. Who will be the first choice?

The vast majority of experts predict the selection of the University of Boston Terriers forward at the very top of the 2024 draft in Las Vegas.


His rookie season speaks for itself. Scoring 32 goals and 32 assists for an impressive total of 64 points in 38 games with the University of Boston is nothing short of remarkable.

His Russian counterpart has scored 60 points, including 23 goals, in 30 regular-season games with SKA 1946 St. Petersburg in the MHL, the farm team of the famous SKA in the KHL. In the playoffs, he has excelled with 26 points in 14 games. He's cut from the same cloth as a certain Matvei Michkov.

The victory secured by the Arizona Coyotes against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday has seriously boosted Kent Hughes' chances.

Kent Hughes and the Canadiens will have the 5th best lottery ticket.

"With the Coyotes' win yesterday, they surpassed the Canadiens in the overall standings. The Canadiens officially finish 28th and improve their draft fate for June with an 8.5% chance of winning the lottery." - Renaud Lavoie, TVA Sports

"The Habs now have:

• 8.5% chance of winning 1OA (1st overall pick)
• 8.6% chance of winning 2OA (2nd overall pick)
• 24.5% chance of selecting 5OA (5th overall pick)
• 44.0% chance of selecting 6OA (6th overall pick)
• 14.2% chance of selecting 7OA (7th overall pick)

At worst, we'll pick 7th overall, and realistically, we'll pick 5th-6th

Now, we start praying for several defensemen to enter the top 5. The possibility of Lindstrom or Demidov slipping to our pick is high. Believe it!" - The Habitant

So, the Tricolore will have a 17.1% chance of drafting within the top 2. It goes without saying that one of the two aforementioned star forwards should expect to hear their name called quickly on the podium in Las Vegas at the end of June.

Could the towering Canadian player from the Medicine Hat Tigers in the Western Hockey League (WHL), Cayden Lindstrom, rise into the top 2?

His injury in December kept him out of the game for nearly three months. He's a sharpshooter with excellent skating ability. His imposing stature and intensity in all three zones of the ice make him a serious contender for the top 5. It would be surprising to see him go after Celebrini and Demidov.
POLL
April 18   |   448 answers
5th overall pick for the Habs: What If?

If you're Kent Hughes, who's your first pick?

Macklin Celebrini28663.8 %
Ivan Demidov265.8 %
Cayden Lindstrom12227.2 %
Berkly Catton143.1 %
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