Kent Hughes with a second top-12 pick? The price to pay is revealed

David St-Jean
May 23, 2024  (11:50 PM)

Kent Hughes
Photo credit: Screenshot

The NHL Draft is fast approaching, just over a month away, and Kent Hughes has work to do to improve the Canadiens for good.

Indeed, looking at the prospect pool, it's clear that the team is not far from securing its future. The defense and goaltending positions seem to be settled, so imagine adding a solid top-5 forward!
We are obviously thinking of players like Ivan Demidov or Cayden Lindstrom. The chances of the Canadiens selecting one of these two players are very good, but imagine now having a second top-12 pick!
Looking back to 2022, the Arizona Coyotes and the San Jose Sharks made a trade similar to what Kent Hughes could potentially do. This is speculative, but there is a precedent to rely on.
"Bettman announces a trade: San Jose trades pick 11 to Arizona for picks 27, 34 and 45.

Mike Grier's first trade as Sharks GM."

- Pierre LeBrun

This happened during the 2022 draft, two years ago. Kent Hughes has made a habit of trading picks for players, or players for picks. So why not trade picks for picks to move up?
For example, he could offer the 26th and 54th picks, plus another pick or a prospect, for the 11th or 12th pick, and then select Beckett Sennecke or Tij Iginla if they are still available.
We know that the Canadiens have met with both young players and that the interest is very strong, especially for Iginla. However, there will be better players available at the 5th pick.
Kent Hughes will therefore have several options to significantly improve his team. He could move up his second first-round pick, trade picks/prospects for an established top-6 forward, or sign a free agent this summer.
Rumors suggest that Martin Necas could be Hughes' target due to the Hurricanes' difficulty staying under the salary cap and their need for prospects and picks, which the Canadiens have in reserve.
MAY 23   |   563 ANSWERS
Kent Hughes with a second top-12 pick? The price to pay is revealed

Would you prefer that Kent Hughes move up his second first-round pick, make a trade, or sign a free agent?

Move up25344.9 %
Trade16128.6 %
Sign a free agent14926.5 %
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