Arber Xhekaj
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Trade of defenseman Arber Xhekaj by the Montreal Canadiens: significant development as he has finally come out of his shell

Published March 4, 2024 at 0:27
BY DAVID ST-JEAN

With so many left-handed defensemen in the organization, Kent Hughes will have to make significant decisions in the coming months. He won't be able to keep everyone, so he will need to carefully choose who to retain and who to trade.

Not only are there already many candidates available for the NHL, but there are also those knocking on the door, and two more are coming up with Lane Hutson and Adam Engstrom. It's becoming quite a crowded situation.

If we rely on player value, we can get a little idea of who might be traded. Take Arber Xhekaj, for instance, who according to many, could fetch a first-round pick. It's something to consider!

However, it would be surprising if Kent Hughes agrees to trade him. Since being paired with David Savard, Xhekaj has been simply unrecognizable. His full potential is starting to show, which is much greater than what he demonstrated since entering the NHL.


Indeed, Xhekaj is producing offensively, delivering savvy passes like Andrei Markov, unsettling opponents, enforcing his presence on the ice, drawing penalties, all while remaining disciplined. It's quite impressive to watch him play.

Against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night, Wifi (Xhekaj's nickname) drew an additional two minutes from Erik Cernak because he got under his skin. This is a young veteran with six seasons in the NHL, engaging in the game with the youngster.


Xhekaj also delivered a clever pass to Nick Suzuki against the Panthers, allowing him to break away and score a superb goal.


As if that weren't enough, number 72 gets under everyone's skin, even the best players in the NHL. Just ask Jack Hughes, who didn't have an inch of space.


Finally, Xhekaj can contain his emotions, something he didn't have the ability to do not so long ago. In the game against the Panthers, Evan Rodrigues made contact with Samuel Montembeault. Xhekaj went to deliver his message but without too much overflow and wasn't penalized.


Adding to that, his performance in the Montreal Canadiens' skills competition, where he clocked a shot at 107.2 mph and showcased impressive moves, I can guarantee that Kent Hughes sees potential in him and that he won't be going anywhere.

POLL
March 4   |   562 answers
Trade of defenseman Arber Xhekaj by the Montreal Canadiens: significant development as he has finally come out of his shell

In your opinion, can Arber Xhekaj become a Shea Weber?

Yes43276.9 %
No13023.1 %
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