Montreal Canadiens defenseman Arber Xhekaj
Photo credit: BVM

Arber Xhekaj Trade: His Shocking Value on the Market is Now Known and Kent Hughes May Be Forced to Act in the Coming Weeks

Published January 13, 2024 at 9:04

Recently demoted to the American League, Arber Xhekaj is establishing himself as one of the best defensemen with the Laval Rocket. The 22-year-old defenseman is impressing greatly, continuing his progression and working on various aspects of the game that Kent Hughes wanted him to improve.

In addition to having a very imposing physical presence, enforcing the law with his solid checks, the "sheriff" is showing he can contribute offensively. Since joining the CH's farm team, number 72 shines in the offensive zone with an excellent tally of three goals and seven assists (10 points) in 13 games.

However, despite his improvements, his spot in the Canadiens' lineup is far from assured. The emergence of Jayden Struble complicates matters, as he is doing everything in his power to keep his spot in Martin St-Louis' lineup. Furthermore, it's simply inconceivable for a veteran like Mike Matheson or a young player like Kaiden Guhle to lose their spot in the defensive brigade.

In this context, many are wondering if Wifi will have an opportunity to rejoin the main club soon, especially with someone like Lane Hutson possibly making his debut with the Canadiens after his college season. Where the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge previously lacked defensemen, now the situation is the opposite.

Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton have done a great job stocking the prospect pool with promising defensemen who will one day impact the Canadiens' success. However, this congestion on the blue line will certainly force the management to trade some defensemen to add punch to the offense, a position where the team sorely lacks talent.

"Xhekaj, 22, arguably has greater value than Harris and Struble due to a combination of offensive skills, imposing size at 6 feet 4 inches and 240 pounds, and fighting talent. He could fetch a first-round pick, they say." - Mathias Brunet

Journalist Mathias Brunet believes that the Canadiens' GM could obtain a very attractive return for Arber Xhekaj. According to him, the defenseman's value on the trade market is enormous, suggesting a first-round pick as a feasible return for Kent Hughes.

Knowing that the Canadiens' defensive line will feature several excellent defensemen, such as Kaiden Guhle, Lane Hutson, David Reinbacher, Logan Mailloux, Jayden Struble, and Justin Barron, in the coming years, the possibility of seeing the former Hamilton Bulldogs defenseman traded seems increasingly likely.

What do you think is the ideal scenario? Trade Arber Xhekaj for a forward or a first-round pick? Keep him within the organization?

Certainly, Kent Hughes will inevitably have to make an important decision regarding Xhekaj's future in Montreal.

January 13   |   284 answers
Arber Xhekaj Trade: His Shocking Value on the Market is Now Known and Kent Hughes May Be Forced to Act in the Coming Weeks

Would you trade Xhekaj for a 1st?

Yes7325.7 %
No21174.3 %
Latest 10 stories