Very interesting development that could please the Montreal Canadiens' fans

Published May 9, 2023 at 4:06 PM

With the lottery now behind us, we all know that the Montreal Canadiens will be selecting in the 5th position during the 2023 draft.

As the majority of experts mention, in terms of pure talent, there is a group of five young players leading this draft class, and then there is the rest. Among these top prospects, there are of course Connor Bedard, but also Adam Fantilli, Leo Carlsson, Will Smith, and Matvei Michkov.

So the Habs technically had a lucky hand yesterday, even though they didn't win the lottery, as the organization will have the chance to add one of these high-level talents.

However, there is one element that could greatly change the draft landscape, and that is the thorny issue that Michkov represents.

While some believe he is the best player available behind Bedard, potentially being a future generational player himself, due to the global conflict and his valid contract for another three years in the KHL, he could possibly slide during the first round, even out of the top 5.

If he were to be the only player available among the five when the Habs make their choice, many fear that the club would pass on him, even though he is seen as the best Russian talent since Alexander Ovechkin.

However, there could be a very interesting development that would drastically change the Canadiens' choice.

Indeed, according to Patrik Bexell of the excellent site Habs Eye On The Prize, Kent Hughes may not have to make a decision on Michkov's case, as San Jose Sharks GM Mike Grier revealed he is not worried about the Russian forward not being able to come to the NHL before 2026.

This would mean that if the Sharks dared to select Michkov at the 4th position, for all the excellent reasons mentioned above, the Canadiens could end up with Leo Carlsson or Will Smith, which would be absolutely perfect for the future of the organization.

Remember that Hughes already has a strong connection with Smith, having coached the young American for several years.

If the Canadiens are hesitant about choosing Michkov and a team dares to do it before them, it would be the ideal scenario for the Habs' fans.
May 9   |   206 answers
Very interesting development that could please the Montreal Canadiens' fans

If you have the absolute choice between these three prospects, which one do you choose?

Will Smith7235 %
Matvei Michkov10249.5 %
Leo Carlsson3215.5 %
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