Three potential candidates for Hughes and one big surprise on UFA?

Carl Vaillancourt
July 9, 2024  (11:36 PM)

Tyler Johnson
Photo credit: Picture

A little over a week after the much-anticipated July 1st opening of the free agent market, a few interesting targets have yet to find takers.

The TVA Sports network has just identified three players who could still interest the Canadiens at this point.
One of these three acquisitions is surprising, even intriguing. We're talking about Tyler Johnson, a forward recently linked to Martin St-Louis and Kent Hughes.
In addition to Tyler Johnson, TVA Sports mentions Alexander Nylander, not William Nylander, his brother, and Daniel Sprong.

Daniel Sprong, Tyler Johnson, or Alex Nylander with the Montreal Canadiens?

See the exact excerpt.
«If the General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens, Kent Hughes, absolutely wants to turn to the free agent market to find offensive reinforcements, there are essentially three candidates left.

Daniel Sprong. Tyler Johnson. Alex Nylander. That's all.»

- TVA Sports

While Joe Pavelski has had much success with the Sharks and Stars over the past decade, he seems ready to hang up his skates in the coming days. Kyle Okposo might follow suit at 35 years old, and Filip Zadina doesn't seem to be in any NHL teams' plans anymore. A return to his home country is not out of the question.
When the San Jose Sharks no longer want you, it says a lot about your disappointing previous season.
With a cushion of $10.2 million in cap space at the moment, Kent Hughes could make some low-risk bets for a short period.
Daniel Sprong, 27 years old, is a 6-foot, 195-pound forward who was drafted 46th overall in 2015.
He recorded 43 points in 76 games in 2023-2024 and 46 points in 66 games in 2022-2023 with the Seattle Kraken. This means his offensive potential for a top-6 role with Dach and Newhook for a season will be interesting. With the imminent arrival of Demidov in 2025-2026, he could pivot a third line with Joshua Roy. This could lead to some exciting offensive moments.
He has been extremely productive in the NHL. He is dominant offensively and on the power play, but he is very one-dimensional.
The other name is the pleasant surprise of the group, as Alex Nylander is indeed still a free agent on this July 9th!
Alexander Nylander, 26 years old, is a 6-foot-1, 195-pound forward who was drafted 8th overall (1st round) in 2016, just like his brother a few years earlier.
He recorded 15 points in 23 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2023-2024, which is very solid under the circumstances. Can he pivot a second line in Montreal? It's not impossible, but we'd have to see if he can maintain this pace over an 82-game season.
And you, which one would you target for the Montreal Canadiens?
One thing is certain... Tyler Johnson might be the least fitting with Kent Hughes' philosophy. Daniel Sprong and Alex Nylander could be interesting picks under the circumstances.
Three potential candidates for Hughes and one big surprise on UFA?

Which player is the most interesting for Habs GM Kent Hughes?

Tyler Johnson5624.1 %
Alexander Nylander10444.8 %
Daniel Sprong7231 %
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