Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes
Photo credit: Radio Canada

Top-Four NHL Reinforcement Coming Inminently? Kent Hughes' Genius Move Late at the 2023 Draft is Paying Off

Published January 16, 2024 at 11:03

Last June, the Montreal Canadiens management made a somewhat surprising decision by drafting defenseman Bogdan Konyushkov in the fourth round. This pick surprised many, especially since the prospect already had a three-season contract with his team in the KHL, similar to Matvei Michkov, and Kent Hughes had shown reluctance to add a Russian prospect to his organization due to their geopolitical situation.

However, this decision has turned out to be a real steal for the Canadiens, as the 21-year-old has been sensational this season. Playing regularly for more than 25 minutes per match, the Torpedo defenseman is fully taking advantage of this opportunity to continue his progression, having collected 4 goals and 18 assists (22 points) in 50 games.

It's worth recalling that his head coach, the legendary Igor Larionov, had mentioned last September that Konyushkov already had the skills necessary to succeed in the NHL, even this year. However, his contract in Russia prevented the defenseman from making the jump to North America in 2023-2024, forcing him to continue his development in the KHL.

In a recent interview with Nicolas Cloutier of TVA Sports, the General Manager of Torpedo, Maxim Gufarov, reassured fans by mentioning that the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge prospect was absolutely determined to play in the NHL in the near future. He also added that the Russian organization had no intention of holding him back, even though he is under contract for two more seasons.

«I believe he will play in the NHL very soon. It will depend on him. If he is ready, he will certainly play in the NHL. We are not going to hold him back. That is not our style at all.» - Maxim Gafurov, General Manager of Torpedo

Wow! That's very reassuring!

He continued by indicating that Bogdan Konyushkov is progressing tremendously, both physically and psychologically. Being undoubtedly the best defenseman on his team, number 6 already possesses the maturity of a 25 or 26-year-old player, despite having just celebrated his 21st birthday.

Furthermore, in the last few days, some interesting news was announced at Torpedo. Indeed, the defenseman is now the new captain of the organization, replacing Alexei Kruchinin, demonstrating that he also has incredible leadership in addition to his impressive skills on the ice.

Certainly, it will be very interesting to see the progression of the defenseman in the coming months, or even the coming years. Although it is difficult to predict his ceiling in the NHL, there is no doubt that Konyushkov has very promising potential, and he could become a key element in the lineup led by Martin St-Louis.

January 16   |   232 answers
Top-Four NHL Reinforcement Coming Inminently? Kent Hughes' Genius Move Late at the 2023 Draft is Paying Off

Are you excited to see Konyushkov in the NHL?

Yes15566.8 %
No7733.2 %
Latest 10 stories