Montreal Canadiens logo and prospect Ivan Demidov
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The Next Nikita Kucherov to Join the Canadiens? Kent Hughes Has an Incredible Opportunity

Published January 25, 2024 at 1:30 PM

In recent days, the Montreal Canadiens' latest performances have raised a lot of questions about the future of the organization. Indeed, the CH's struggles have worried many fans, especially since Martin St-Louis's offense seems simply incapable of producing offensively.

However, the recent losses could still help Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton in their rebuilding process. The team continues to slide in the standings and could potentially secure a top-5 pick for a third consecutive year if the Canadiens continue to lose games, ensuring the management can add a top player to their roster.

Notably, the esteemed Bob McKenzie released his mid-season draft rankings for the 2024 draft this week, and a significant trend seems to favor the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge. Indeed, the stock of several defensemen, such as Anton Silayev, Artiom Levshunov, Sam Dickinson, and Zayne Parekh, is rising, which could give Kent Hughes the opportunity to add a future star to the attack.

While the addition of a big center like Cayden Lindstrom is very interesting, a Russian prospect is currently attracting a lot of attention, namely right winger Ivan Demidov. According to many observers, the 18-year-old has a potential as promising as the young prodigy Matvei Michkov, who was selected 7th last year.

Many fans notably wished to see Michkov don a Canadiens jersey during the last draft.

Demidov's playing style is sorely lacking in Martin St-Louis's offense; he is an excellent playmaker with a devastating shot. Additionally, Demidov has exceptional hands, making him a true nightmare for opposing defenses. He also excels in the defensive zone, being one of the best forwards in his own territory available in the first round.

Personally, if the SKA-1946 Saint Petersburg forward is still available when Kent Hughes speaks next June, he must absolutely select him. He would instantly become a key element in the CH lineup, certainly aiding the Montreal attack in the coming years.

« What Ivan Demidov is doing in the MHL this year is incredible. For comparison, here are Demidov's draft year stats compared to Nikita Kucherov's stats the year after his draft:

Demidov: 23GP - 20G - 25A - 45PTS - 1.91PPG

Kucherov: 23GP - 24G - 19A - 43PTS - 1.87PPG » - Nathan Graviteh

Furthermore, his performances this season are really impressive, having accumulated a total of 20 goals and 25 assists (45 points) in only 23 games. Note that his statistics are similar to those of a certain Nikita Kucherov, who had notably collected 43 points, but in the year following his selection by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

This speaks volumes about his offensive skills!

He notably scored five goals in his last game, proving that he deserved to be considered as one of the most talented players in the draft. Certainly, if Demidov is still available at the 6th pick, we strongly hope that Kent Hughes selects him to bring a significant reinforcement to the top-6 of the Tricolore.

January 25   |   249 answers
The Next Nikita Kucherov to Join the Canadiens? Kent Hughes Has an Incredible Opportunity

Who would you like the Canadiens to draft?

Ivan Demidov7730.9 %
Cayden Lindstrom9136.5 %
Konsta Helenius2510 %
Cole Eiserman5622.5 %
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