Montreal Canadiens defenseman Arber Xhekaj
Photo credit: LaPresse

Arber Xhekaj on the verge of being traded to a Pacific team?

Published March 31, 2024 at 1:16 PM

The NHL Draft Lottery is quickly approaching, and many fans expect the General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens, Kent Hughes, to be very active in the trade market on June 28th in Vegas.

Indeed, several observers believe that the Canadiens might use the Winnipeg Jets' first-round pick or one of their defensemen to complete a new trade similar to the Kirby Dach deal, aiming to bring a promising young forward to Montreal.

It could be a very busy day as the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge might end the evening with two future top-6 forwards, either through a trade and by drafting a player like Ivan Demidov, Cayden Lindstrom, Cole Eiseman, or even Berkly Catton.

Among the teams that might want to make a deal with the Montreal Canadiens, the San Jose Sharks stand out. Like the Canadiens, the California organization is in the midst of a rebuilding process.

However, the Sharks' GM, Mike Grier, has a lot of work to do, as his team has few leading players, and aside from Quentin Musty and Will Smith, the prospect pool is not very impressive. He will need to find a way to improve his attack, but more importantly, to add young defensemen capable of playing significant minutes in the NHL.

«All this to say that the Canadiens need forwards (and have defensemen) and the Sharks need defensemen (and have forwards). Could the two clubs help each other out?» - Via DLC

Knowing that the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge will soon be able to count on the arrival of talented prospects such as David Reinbacher, Logan Mailloux, and Lane Hutson, several defensemen might eventually lose their spot in Montreal. In this sense, Kent Hughes will need to trade a young player to make room for these three defensemen in particular.

A specific forward has been targeted by Raphaël Simard of DansLesCoulisses. Indeed, he believes that forward William Eklund, who was selected seventh overall in the 2021 draft, could be an interesting target in a trade involving the Canadiens' enforcer, Arber Xhekaj.

«If Hughes can get a forward like William Eklund in exchange for a defenseman like Arber Xhekaj, among others, that would be interesting. A trade like the Kirby Dach and Alex Newhook one is not out of the question soon, and I'm eager to see if Mike Grier could be the dance partner for the Montreal GM.» - Via DLC

Wow! That's interesting!

Playing his first full season in the NHL, the left winger from Stockholm, Sweden, has shown that he possesses the skills needed to succeed in the NHL, as evidenced by his tally of 12 goals and 22 assists (34 points) in 72 games.

Arber Xhekaj and the Winnipeg Jets' first-round pick for William Eklund, would you make that trade?

March 31   |   261 answers
Arber Xhekaj on the verge of being traded to a Pacific team?

Would you trade Xhekaj and a 1st for Eklund?

Yes2710.3 %
No23489.7 %
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