Surprise from Kent Hughes and another defenseman chosen at the 5th spot?

David St-Jean
June 9, 2024  (10:44)

Kent Hughes was clear: they need new talent in the attack, and he strongly hopes that his 5th pick on June 28 will allow him to find a good one.

However, when looking at the top 5 forwards in this draft class, the options are quite thin since there are many very good defensemen. It is really a rich year for defensemen.
The names Macklin Celebrini, Cayden Lindstrom, and Ivan Demidov keep coming up, and we can already forget about Celebrini, who is going to San Jose.
If Lindstrom and Demidov are selected by the Ducks, Blue Jackets, or Blackhawks, it doesn't leave many top 5 value forwards for Kent Hughes.
The GM would then have three options:
- Draft a defenseman
- Draft a lower-ranked forward
- Trade his pick to move down in the draft order
If the aforementioned players are no longer available and Kent Hughes is unable to trade his pick, he might then turn to a defenseman.

Drafting a defenseman at the 5th spot is a real possibility

The prospects are very promising for the Canadiens' defense, to the point that other teams are asking Kent Hughes for good defensemen in exchange for good forwards.
This is perfectly normal since no one would agree to trade an established young top 6 player for breadcrumbs.

What if Kent Hughes Selected a Defenseman Superior to Those He Already Has?

There is one name in particular that is making a lot of noise: Russian defenseman Anton Silayev. The young man set a new record for a 17-year-old in the KHL this year and is a real monster.
Here are the comments from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com:
«Anton Silayev: The left-handed defenseman recorded 11 points (three goals, eight assists), blocked 74 shots, and delivered 98 hits in 63 regular-season games in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). Silayev, who played the season at 17 years old (he turned 18 on April 11), amassed the most points by an under-18 player in a season in KHL history. Vladimir Tarasenko had 10 with Novosibirsk in 2008-09.»

Recall that Tarasenko is a forward and Silayev is a large-framed defenseman.
If Kent Hughes does not have the option of drafting a forward, he could indeed select a defenseman like Silayev and trade Logan Mailloux, Lane Hutson, David Reinbacher, or another good young player in the organization to acquire a Trevor Zegras or Martin Necas.
Source NHL.com -
Repêchage 2024 simulé: Les défenseurs à l'honneur derrière Celebrini
JUNE 9   |   372 ANSWERS
Surprise from Kent Hughes and another defenseman chosen at the 5th spot?

Would you prefer Kent Hughes to select a defenseman or a lower-ranked forward?

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