Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes
Photo credit: LaPresse

Insider Confirms Blockbuster Draft Day Trade That Kent Hughes Turned Down

Published January 17, 2024 at 4:34 PM

As you know, several general managers were very interested in acquiring the fifth overall pick of the Montreal Canadiens in the last draft.

Moreover, a major trade rumor involving the Nashville Predators and the Canadiens had surfaced, mentioning that Barry Trotz had offered the future star goalie Yaroslav Askarov to select David Reinbacher.

Although it was mainly speculation at the time, Marc-Antoine Godin and Arpon Basu have confirmed this information in recent days. Indeed, the Predators had made an offer including the Russian prospect and the 15th overall pick, which subsequently became Matthew Wood, to move up in the draft.

Let's just say that Kent Hughes was quite busy that evening, as he also received an offer involving the American forward Cutter Gauthier from the Philadelphia Flyers.

Here is the official proposal that Nashville submitted to the Canadiens:

- Yaroslav Askarov
- 15th overall pick (Matthew Wood)

- 5th overall pick (David Reinbacher)

Wow! Interesting!

Personally, if we had been in the position of the general manager of the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge, we would have accepted this trade.

21-year-old Yaroslav Askarov was selected 11th overall in 2020 and is seen as one of the best prospects at his position by many observers. The 6-foot-3 goalie is destined for a very promising future in the NHL, with the potential to become a true number one in a few years.

Playing with the Milwaukee Admirals in the American League this season, Askarov has been simply dominant with a record of twelve wins, six losses, and one overtime loss. He has notably recorded very impressive statistics with a goals-against average of 1.99 and a save percentage of 0.926.

Imagine if the Canadiens had a tandem composed of Yaroslav Askarov and Jacob Fowler in the future, the organization's goaltending problems would have been solved for good!

Moreover, the Montreal team could have acquired a quality prospect with the 15th selection in the draft. Players like Axel Sandin-Pellika, Gabriel Perreault, Oliver Moore, Quentin Musty, Oliver Bonk, and Bradley Nadeau were still available when the Nashville Predators made Matthew Wood the 15th overall pick.

The journalist at The Athletic also confirmed that Austrian defenseman David Reinbacher was the player targeted by Barry Trotz at that time.

We strongly encourage you to listen to the podcast in which Arpon Basu provides many interesting details about the behind-the-scenes of the 2023 draft, as well as on the development of David Reinbacher in Europe.

Credit: Habs et LNH
January 17   |   298 answers
Insider Confirms Blockbuster Draft Day Trade That Kent Hughes Turned Down

Would you have traded pick 5 for Askarov and 15?

Yes10535.2 %
No19364.8 %
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