Three young players from the Montreal Canadiens could be on their way out and be traded as early as this summer

Published May 3, 2023 at 10:29

We have been mentioning it for several weeks now, but the summer of 2023 will be crucial for the future of the Canadiens franchise.

Several organizational questions will need to be addressed to take the team to the next level, through the draft, trades, and possibly the free agent market.

While many elements of the current Habs lineup could leave the team during the summer, including veterans like Joel Edmundson, Christian Dvorak, Joel Armia, and Mike Hoffman among others. There are also young players in the organization who could be used as bait for a bigger trade.

As excellently presented by Marco D'Amico from Montreal Hockey Now, here are the three young Canadiens' players who could change addresses during the offseason :

Mattias Norlinder

After good seasons in Europe, following his selection in the third round of the 2019 NHL Draft, Mattias Norlinder was seen as the Canadiens' potential offensive defenseman.

Unfortunately, his transition to North America didn't go as planned, as he never managed to find a second gear in his development, both offensively and defensively.

Could a change of scenery be beneficial for him? Absolutely, as his presence in the depth chart has plummeted over the years. He has been surpassed by several left-handed defensemen, such as Kaiden Guhle, Arber Xhekaj, Jordan Harris, and even Nicolas Beaudin, William Trudeau and Jayden Struble in Laval.

Adding prospects Lane Hutson and Adam Engstrom to the equation, it quickly becomes clear that the Swedish defenseman's future is not in Montreal.

Oliver Kapanen

The 19-year-old Finn is an interesting versatile center currently developing in the Liiga, one of the best professional European leagues.

He has clearly moved on to a second stage in his development, having made significant offensive strides, finishing the season with 12 goals and 15 assists for 27 points in 55 games. This is a very good output, considering he was one of the youngest players in the league.

A second round pick of the Canadiens in 2021, Kapanen's value has possibly never been higher since his draft, as he has shown very solid things this year. He could very well develop into an effective 3rd line center in the NHL one day.

Given the depth of several equally interesting young centers in the Montreal organization, including Owen Beck, Riley Kidney, Cedrick Guindon, and Vinzenz Rohrer, Kapanen could become a very palatable asset to include in a trade, like that of a Pierre-Luc Dubois, for example.

Jesse Ylönen

Ylönen's case is a very particular one. He showed nice things in his call-up from the Rocket this year, but given the presence of several veterans on the Canadiens, a spot in a healthy lineup could be impossible at the start of the season.

The 23-year-old is approaching the point where management will have to make a decision about his place in the team's future.

With congestion on the right wing, with Josh Anderson, Brendan Gallagher, Joel Armia, and Cole Caufield, it could be difficult for the Finn to get anything other than a role on the 4th line or as an extra forward.

In addition, he will be in direct competition with several promising young players joining the organization with the likes of Joshua Roy, Emil Heineman, Riley Kidney, Sean Farrell, and potentially even Filip Mesar.

Unfortunately for this 2018 second round pick, he seems increasingly destined to be part of a big trade that would include him as an asset for another NHL team.

May 3   |   142 answers
Three young players from the Montreal Canadiens could be on their way out and be traded as early as this summer

Which one would you trade first, considering their value in the trade market?

Jesse Ylönen4229.6 %
Olivier Kapanen4128.9 %
Mattias Norlinder5941.5 %
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