Kent Hughes confirmed what everyone feared after the draft

Published June 29, 2023 at 2:23 PM

The 2023 NHL Draft is now complete, and let's just say the general first impression of the Canadiens' harvest is very mixed.

It started with the selection made with the 5th overall pick, David Reinbacher.

This selection was very poorly received in public opinion, especially since the team had the chance to get their hands on a potential generational player in Matvei Michkov. The Habs even had the opportunity to snatch up a massive offer for their 5th pick to move back and thus add an additional first-round pick.

In short, it did not finally happen because the club's scouts surprisingly highly esteemed the Austrian defenseman.

What is notable is that at the NHL Combine, at the beginning of June, Kent Hughes had asserted that the Canadiens would draft the best available player with their 5th pick.

However, following a post-draft interview, Hughes mentioned the opposite about what motivated the choice of Reinbacher at the 5th rank. He literally said that if the latter was not a right-handed defenseman, it would have outright cooled the organization's interest in his selection.

"He was very high on our list... If he was a left-handed defenseman, we might have cooled off a bit, but we do not have as much depth on the right side." - Kent Hughes

Wow! That says a lot about the Canadiens' incentive to draft Reinbacher, because of his position coveted by the organization, he being a right-handed defenseman.

In the end, I completely agree that the young man should be given the chance to prove himself and develop.

However, it is particularly disappointing to hear that the management's strategy was to aim for the best available talent only to opt for an organizational need when the time comes. The Canadiens have made multiple mistakes in the past by drafting to fill a need, and we know the franchise's lack of success in many draft years.

No offense to those who are happy to see Arber Xhekaj's brother, Florian, arrive in Montreal, but his selection in the fourth round is far from being part of the mentality of choosing the best available player as well.

June 29   |   405 answers
Kent Hughes confirmed what everyone feared after the draft

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