Kent Hughes about to disappoint the fans: Arpon Basu thinks so

David St-Jean
June 13, 2024  (4:56 PM)

Kent Hughes
Photo credit: Sportsnet

The 2023 draft ended with disappointment for the Canadiens, but in hindsight, fans seem to have come to terms with it.

Pleasing everyone is nearly impossible, and Kent Hughes and his team decided to go with the best player available in their eyes, David Reinbacher.
Fans were so disappointed and even frustrated that poor Reinbacher was met with threats in Montreal. Fortunately, true Canadiens fans responded with much love and support.
While Matvei Michkov represented a risk, and that might be why the Canadiens didn't pick him, there doesn't seem to be the same issue this year. However, Kent Hughes faces another potential scenario that could prevent him from drafting a forward with the fifth pick.
"But in the equally unlikely event that neither [Ivan Demidov nor Cayden Lindstrom] is available, I think the Canadiens would lean towards a defenseman.

And I don't think they would trade down later in the top 10 to recoup an asset and take one of the top wingers available, like Tij Iginla or Beckett Sennecke, because they see the number five pick as an opportunity to add an important piece to their rebuild, and trading down would reduce the probability that this player is an important piece."

- Arpon Basu

This means Sam Dickinson, Zeev Buium, or Zayne Parekh could be the Canadiens' pick. You could also add Artyom Levshunov or Anton Silayev to the list since if three forwards go in the top 4, one of these two defensemen will be available.
"The Canadiens really like University of Denver left-shot defenseman Zeev Buium and Saginaw Spirit right-shot defenseman Zayne Parekh, who excel in puck possession, something the Canadiens lack on the blue line.

I think both Buium and Parekh could be considered at the 5th pick, though it's hard to determine which of the two would be preferred, even if Parekh has the advantage of being a right-shot defenseman."

- Arpon Basu

If the Canadiens do indeed draft a defenseman, no matter how good, there will be a lot of dissatisfaction among fans. The only option would be to trade one or more active defensemen to acquire a star forward in the hours before or after the draft, which would likely appease the fans.
One thing is certain: if the Canadiens do not improve their offense through the draft, a trade, or free agency, there will be significant unrest.
13 JUIN   |   378 ANSWERS
Kent Hughes about to disappoint the fans: Arpon Basu thinks so

In your opinion, can Kent Hughes afford to draft a defenseman with the 5th overall pick, regardless of the reason?

Yes15841.8 %
No22058.2 %
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