The next Kirby Dach for the Canadiens would be identified in Winnipeg

David St-Jean
June 25, 2024  (5:37 PM)

Rutger McGroarty
Photo credit: Winnipeg Free Press

Kent Hughes likes to acquire former first-round picks like Kirby Dach, and he has a new opportunity with a young player from Winnipeg.

Indeed, Rutger McGroarty, the 14th overall pick in 2022, has reportedly requested a trade from the Jets for specific reasons.
It's not about the city or market at all, but rather about vision. Rutger believes he's ready for the NHL next season, while the organization thinks his development would be better served in the NCAA or AHL.
"The Jets didn't see McGroarty as ready to have that kind of impact, nor to guarantee him an NHL spot next season. McGroarty could sign and attend training camp, but he might end up in the AHL instead of trying to lead his Michigan team to a national championship.

It's not a situation where the player wants to leave Winnipeg because of his opinion of the city. On the contrary, there seems to be a gap between how the Jets see McGroarty's development and how McGroarty envisions his own future. The desire to play in the NHL played a significant role in his decision not to sign in April; in fact, he saw himself as more ready than the team." - Murat Ates

According to Ates, a trade could be imminent, even before Friday's draft.
This is exactly the type of situation Kent Hughes is comfortable with, and it wouldn't be surprising if he's involved.
McGroarty amassed 52 points in 36 games in the NCAA this season, which is very impressive even at 20 years old. If he isn't traded or doesn't sign with the Jets, he would have to return to the NCAA.
This is where he can put pressure on the organization and decide to complete his 4-year college stint without signing in Winnipeg, potentially becoming a free agent afterward.
Therefore, the Jets would lose him for nothing. It's definitely a situation worth monitoring closely.
25 JUIN   |   397 ANSWERS
The next Kirby Dach for the Canadiens would be identified in Winnipeg

In your opinion, can Kent Hughes bring McGroarty to Montreal by giving back the 26th overall pick to the Jets?

Yes21052.9 %
No18747.1 %
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