2024 NHL draft prospects Cayden Lindstrom and Ivan Demidov with Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes
Photo credit: Markerzone

Cayden Lindstrom or Ivan Demidov may be joining the Canadiens

Published March 27, 2024 at 4:57 PM

Now that there are only eleven games left in the 2023-2024 season, fans are already starting to focus on the moves Kent Hughes might potentially make during the draft this summer.

Indeed, knowing that the Montreal Canadiens will likely have a top-7 pick, or even top-5 if the team racks up a few more losses, several options are available to the Tricolore's leadership. In a draft dominated by excellent defenders, such as Anton Silayev, Artyom Levshunov, Sam Dickinson, Zayne Parekh, Zeev Buium, and Carter Yakemchuk, it's nearly impossible to predict what will happen on June 28.

The idea of adding another top-tier defender is undoubtedly appealing. However, the fact that many defenders are ranked in the top-10 could possibly allow the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge to select the second or third-best forward of the draft class, which would undoubtedly be a home run.

After all, in previous years, the two most talented forwards were often drafted in the first three picks, a trend that could be completely changed this year due to the depth at the defenseman position. Personally, knowing that the Canadiens already have excellent defenders in their organization, I'd like to see Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton select the best available forward when they step up to the podium.

We've talked about it many times, but Martin St-Louis' top-6 is sorely lacking in offensive firepower, and with players like Ivan Demidov, Cayden Lindstrom, Cole Eiserman, and Berkly Catton, the organization can't afford to turn its back on such promising forwards.

In this regard, during the last episode of the "The Basu & Godin Notebook" podcast, Arpon Basu made a significant statement regarding Kent Hughes' intentions for the upcoming draft. According to him, even though the organization has often advocated the strategy of drafting the best player available, it would rather change its approach this season, selecting the best forward to fill a need within the top-6.

"I am quite confident that even if there is a good defender still available, the Canadiens will choose what they probably consider the best forward still available at the draft." – Arpon Basu

A statement that is likely to please Montreal fans, who wish to see the organization improve Martin St-Louis' attack!

Moreover, according to Arpon Basu, the management has targeted two players in particular. These are the Russian forward, Ivan Demidov, who some consider superior to Matvei Michkov, and the giant forward playing in the WHL, Cayden Lindstrom.

Ivan Demidov is currently playing with SKA-1946 of St. Petersburg in the MHL, the equivalent of the junior ranks in Russia. The 5'11" right winger had an exceptional season with 23 goals and 37 assists (60 points) in only 30 games, stats that are notably superior to those of Nikita Kucherov and Artemi Panarin at the same age. With extraordinary game vision and magical hands, he is also very reliable defensively. According to many observers, he is seen as the second-best prospect of the 2024 draft class.

As for Cayden Lindstrom, his stock has slightly decreased recently due to a significant injury that has kept him off the ice for several weeks. Nonetheless, his talent is undeniable, possessing a simply devastating shot, as evidenced by his 27 goals (and 46 points) in 32 games this year. Moreover, although he has just celebrated his 18th birthday, the center has a very imposing frame at 6'3" and 210 pounds, with a playing style compared to Los Angeles Kings' forward Quinton Byfield.

One thing is for sure, the organization will have the opportunity to add a quality prospect to its lineup, and we're eager to find out which player Kent Hughes will set his sights on.

March 27   |   260 answers
Cayden Lindstrom or Ivan Demidov may be joining the Canadiens

Who do you think Kent Hughes and the Montreal Canadiens should select?

Ivan Demidov6725.8 %
Cayden Lindstrom12648.5 %
Cole Eiserman5621.5 %
Defenseman114.2 %
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