Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes
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MAJOR: Kent Hughes and the Canadiens Will Cause a Scene at the Draft This Year Per Former Scout

Published March 2, 2024 at 2:56 PM

With the season's end approaching, attention within the Montreal Canadiens is increasingly turning towards the draft.

Considering that again this year the team should select among the top-10, debates on the right prospect to choose for the Habs have been raging for some time.

Victories and points in the standings push back the Canadiens' selection rank, and the further the team drafts from the top-5, the possibility of seeing a huge surprise drastically increases. Currently, Kent Hughes holds the 7th pick in the draft, just two points away from the 5th. It will be a fierce battle with the Coyotes and Senators until the end.


On this topic, Grant McGagg, who is a former scout for the Canadiens, has just dropped information that is likely to stun the fans. On his podcast, the expert unveiled the list of choices the Habs should target next June.

Since the club will have a chance in the lottery, he mentioned Macklin Celebrini at the top of the list, unsurprisingly. However, it's the rest of his list that is likely to surprise many fans.

1. Macklin Celebrini
2. Ivan Demidov
3. Cayden Lindstrom
4. Zayne Parekh
5. Carter Yakemchuk
6. Tij Iginla

As we can see, McGagg included two defensemen, Parekh and Yakemchuk, in the 4th and 5th ranks of the classification.

Another defenseman selected by the Canadiens in 2024?

What is quite striking is the fact that the three forward names at the top of his list have a very high chance of being selected even before the Canadiens' turn, especially if the team does not hold, at the very least, the 5th overall pick.

So, if we rely on McCagg, who always has excellent sources within the Tricolore, the chances of seeing the management opt for another defenseman this year would be very strong.

According to him, it also indicates that the Habs might not consider the candidacy of two forwards with a very high offensive potential, namely Berkly Catton and Cole Eiserman.

To put you in context, Catton is expected to finish his season with a haul of 110 points in the OHL, while Eiserman, a prolific scorer, is on the verge of breaking the goal record of the American development program's team held by a certain Cole Caufield. He has 40 goals and 63 points in 39 games, so far.

A good thing to choose another defenseman?

Frankly, even if the current depth of the Canadiens in defense is already excellent, if the management decides to go with Zayne Parekh, it would be a stroke of genius.

The 6-foot, 181-pound defenseman is currently breaking records in the OHL. He is the 6th best scorer in the league with an incredible haul of 30 goals and 84 points in just 56 games. I remind you, he is a defenseman.

Moreover, he is right-handed, which accentuates the interest in his services. According to McCagg, this young man could become a player scoring more than one point per game in the NHL. Wow!

His defensive game remains to be refined, like all ultra-offensive defensemen, but his instinct for offense is almost unmatched.

If Parekh is the choice made by Hughes, we should certainly expect to see at least two defensemen leave the Canadiens to add one or two forwards to play in the top-6 during the summer.

Normally, when McGagg advances a name in such a way, as he did before anyone else for Juraj Slafkovsky in 2022 and David Reinbacher in 2023, it's because he is repeating what he hears within the Canadiens.

In the scenario where Celebrini, Demidov, and Lindstrom are all unavailable at the CH's turn, the reality of seeing Parekh arrive in Montreal would therefore be very strong.

March 2   |   439 answers
MAJOR: Kent Hughes and the Canadiens Will Cause a Scene at the Draft This Year Per Former Scout

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