Newhook et Dach
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Rumors: David Pagnotta reveals an upcoming transaction for the Habs

Published May 2, 2024 at 10:54 PM

After Kirby Dach and Alex Newhook, Kent Hughes seems to be gearing up for another big acquisition ahead of the draft. At least that's what reputed journalist David Pagnotta claims.

During his end-season press conference, Kent Hughes laid out his intentions for the offseason. It takes more offensive firepower to have a chance at making it to the playoffs next season. While the first line showed promising signs for the upcoming campaign, the second line left Kent Hughes wanting more. They need an offensive forward identified as a true top-six player capable of racking up 60 to 70 points in the NHL.

This means that it wouldn't be surprising if a blockbuster deal occurs on the eve of the draft or even during the draft days, perhaps even between the draft and the trade deadline.

If the Canadiens traded Alexander Romanov, a young physical defenseman with potential to break into a top-four position, and received in return a first-round pick, 13th overall, or Kirby Dach, it means that the price to pay is significant to acquire a talented young top-six forward.

It's a give-and-take in the NHL! Hughes may be willing to part with the first-round pick acquired in the Sean Monahan trade, but it won't be enough to secure this type of forward. He'll have to give more to get an offensive talent of that caliber.

Fortunately, the general manager of the Montreal organization has several interesting assets in his prospect pool. It's known that many young defensemen are knocking on the NHL's door.

According to David Pagnotta from TheFourthPeriod, Kent Hughes is ready to do what it takes to acquire the desired forward. This means that sacrificing some of the many young defensemen in the Canadiens' organizational chart is a real option for them.

David Pagnotta confirms the rumor that Kent Hughes is active in the market and trying to acquire a forward like Kirby Dach or Alex Newhook

Here's an excerpt from his text:

"It's no secret that the Montreal Canadiens want to add a scorer this summer, and the team plans to use some of its young defensemen as bait. Kent Hughes isn't afraid to pull the trigger to close a deal around the NHL Draft, and that still seems to be his goal in June." - David Pagnotta

The Habs have an incalculable number of defensemen capable of making it into an NHL team's top-six next season. While Mike Matheson seems untouchable for now, several other defensemen could be part of a trade this summer. In total, 12 defensemen could aspire to a top-six role next season. The likelihood of seeing the same six defensemen for all 82 games is unlikely.

Mike Matheson
David Savard
Kaiden Guhle
Arber Xhekaj
Jordan Harris
Johnathan Kovacevic
Jayden Struble
Justin Barron
Logan Mailloux
David Reinbacher
Lane Hutson
Adam Engstrom

Kent Hughes categorizes these 12 defensemen into three groups. There are the promising young ones with high potential like Kaiden Guhle, Lane Hutson, David Reinbacher, and Logan Mailloux. Then, there are the good young defensemen like Adam Engstrom, Justin Barron, Jayden Struble, Jordan Harris, and Arber Xhekaj. Finally, there are the veteran players who could be sacrificed based on the value offered in exchange, such as David Savard and Jonathan Kovacevic. Mike Matheson is exempt from this list because his experience and ability to play a veteran role with the young players cannot be sacrificed.

It remains to be seen!

The management will face a major dilemma this summer. If we go by the past two summers, we can expect potential targets to be Martin Necas or Trevor Zegras. These two names come up often, but they're not the only interesting young players. We can also think of Alexander Holtz, Peyton Krebs, Jack Quinn, and many others.

What does Kent Hughes have in store for us?

Only time will tell us ...
May 2   |   311 answers
Rumors: David Pagnotta reveals an upcoming transaction for the Habs

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