Franchise-altering move in Montreal: Major update

Aaron Itovitch
April 24, 2024  (1:02 PM)

Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes
Photo credit: Sportsnet

In two weeks, the Montreal Canadiens will finally find out their draft position for the upcoming NHL Draft, which will take place on June 28 and 29 in Las Vegas.

It's worth noting that Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton currently hold the fifth-best lottery odds (8.5%) to land the Macklin Celebrini pick, with a 8.6% chance of securing the second overall pick.
However, given that several highly talented defensemen might be drafted in the top-5, the Canadiens could have a chance to pick either the second or third best forward of the 2024 draft class, even if they end up selecting at the 5th or 6th spot.
A significant piece of information has just been revealed about 6'3", 210-pound center Cayden Lindstrom. Despite his immense talent, which included scoring 27 goals and 19 assists (46 points) in 32 games with the Medicine Hat Tigers in the WHL, many observers are cautious about him due to his injury history.
Indeed, the 18-year-old forward suffered a hand injury in early January, which forced him to miss the remainder of the regular season, somewhat lowering his stock among scouts. However, according to Marco D'Amico of "Montreal Hockey Now," there is no need to worry about his health condition.
"The injury history of Lindstrom is greatly exaggerated. A minor surgery on his hand and back pains related to his rapid growth in size. In short, I am assured that there is nothing recurrent about his injuries, just bad luck." - Marco D'Amico

Still, it will be interesting to see if this infamous injury will affect his draft position in the upcoming draft. Personally, if Cayden Lindstrom is still available when the Canadiens' GM steps up to the podium, he must absolutely be selected.
It's not every day that a center with such an imposing stature is projected to be drafted in the top-5. Moreover, knowing that Montreal's offense must bulk up if it wants to succeed in the playoffs, there is no doubt that the forward from Chetwind, British Columbia, would be a major addition to Martin St-Louis' team.
Compared to Eric Lindros by his head coach, Cayden Lindstrom could be the missing piece on the second line composed of Kirby Dach and Alex Newhook. With Slafkovsky, Dach, and Lindstrom on its top two lines, the Canadiens would finally have an attack tailor-made for the playoffs.
Regarding this, the player himself mentioned that he spoke with the Canadiens' scouts this season, stating that he loved the intensity of the Montreal market and that the pressure did not intimidate him.
"I talked a bit to the Canadiens' scouts. It was good. They are good people. I know you have some pretty crazy fans in Montreal. I like that, and the organization has a rich history. The market doesn't intimidate me." - Cayden Lindstrom

Certainly, the coming weeks are shaping up to be very exciting, and we are eager to see if Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton will set their sights on this offensive powerhouse.
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Franchise-altering move in Montreal: Major update

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