David Pagnotta shares major trade news regarding the 5th overall pick

Graham Montgomery
May 21, 2024  (11:02 PM)

Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes addressing the media after the 2024 NHL draft lottery
Photo credit: Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens have the pleasure of drafting 5th overall in the 2024 draft class assuming they do not trade the pick, but NHL insider David Pagnotta believes that is exactly what might happen.

The 2024 class is quite strong at the top with players like Macklin Celebrini, Ivan Demidov, and Artyom Levshunov highlighting the class. At fifth overall, the Canadiens are reportedly eyeing Medicine Hat Tigers forward Cayden Lindstrom. According to Pagnotta, if the 6'4" forward is off the board by the time their pick comes along, the team may look into trading down.
"Other teams aren't buying that mindset just yet and seem to think a lot of Montreal's decisions this summer will be determined around or during the NHL Draft, specifically if Cayden Lindstrom is or isn't available at No.5.

Lindstrom is ranked third among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting after projected first-overall pick Macklin Celebrini and defenceman Artyom Levshunov. On the international side, the top three is led by defenceman Anton Silayev, followed by right wing Ivan Demidov at No.2 and centre Konsta Helenius at No.3. There is growing belief Lindstrom is high on Montreal's draft board, but if he's not available at the fifth-overall slot, Hughes could move the pick."

However, trading such a high pick in a draft like this is a very risky move. Unless Kent Hughes is blown away by an offer, it may prove to be very difficult to recoup that value later in the draft. Furthermore, there will be other highly skilled options at five even if Lindstrom is taken. One such option could be Russian forward Ivan Demidov, ranked as high as 2 by many scouts.
"The Habs won't pass on a supremely skilled Russian winger for the second time in a row and take the best player available in Demidov. The Most electrifying player in the draft, Demidov decimated the Russian junior circuit with 60 points in 30 regular-season games before a hilarious 28 points in 17 playoff games."

Drafting Demidov might seem like an odd move after the Canadiens passed on fellow Russian Matvei Michkov last year, but it would lineup with what Kent Hughes has been saying about the pick. He has consistently stated that the team will almost certainly be taking a forward with their first pick in this draft.
"What I've said is all things equal, we would draft a forward & I think that remains the case.»

- Habs GM Kent Hughes today

That being said, the draft is just over a month away now. We will just have to wait and see what Kent Hughes has in store for us this June.
Source: BladeofSteel
Montreal Canadiens could reportedly trade 5th overall pick
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David Pagnotta shares major trade news regarding the 5th overall pick

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