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Surprise: Kent Hughes protects an unexpected player


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David St-Jean
May 20, 2024  (11:59 PM)
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Mattias Norlinder
Photo credit: Habs Eyes on the Prize

When we think about the defensemen that the Canadiens and Kent Hughes protect, we think of Kaiden Guhle, Lane Hutson, David Reinbacher, and Logan Mailloux, but not the other young players.

According to David Pagnotta, Arber Xhekaj is also nearly untouchable, but a proposal has surfaced for Calgary's 9th overall pick. We'll see if Kent Hughes is interested by the draft.
Regardless, there is another young defenseman who is reportedly untouchable, which is a big surprise.
The 24-year-old left-handed defenseman who seemed to be out of the Rocket de Laval's plans, Mattias Norlinder, is reportedly under Kent Hughes' protection.
"Yes, the same Mattias Norlinder who was no longer in Laval's plans at the end of the season and was thought to be headed back to Europe this summer."

"That said, seeing Norlinder among the guys that, as Pagnotta states, 'the Canadiens don't want to trade,' is surprising. One might almost wonder if this is a bluff, after all." - Via Félix Forget (DLC)

If we recall, Norlinder stayed with the Canadiens at the end of training camp and was later recalled without playing in the NHL.
It was Jayden Struble who took the available spot and played significant minutes.
I'm not sure what the organization sees in him, but he was once considered a potential next Erik Karlsson a few years ago.
Perhaps he still has that potential, which we have difficulty seeing due to his rather disappointing performances.
POLL
MAY 20   |   441 ANSWERS
Surprise: Kent Hughes protects an unexpected player

In your opinion, does Mattias Norlinder still have a future with the Canadiens?

Yes12428.1 %
No31771.9 %
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