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Could the Canadiens package picks and Owen Beck to move up in the 2024 NHL Draft? We break down the potential trade with Chicago.

The Montreal Canadiens rebuilding effort is well underway. But if they want to accelerate their return to contender status, a bold move at the 2024 NHL Entry Draft could be just what they need.

Word on the street is that GM Kent Hughes is smitten with Russian center/right wing Ivan Demidov. With their 5th overall pick in hand, they’re not assured a shot at the young star. The Chicago Blackhawks, currently holding the 2nd overall selection with their eyes on Zayne Parekh, who is projected to be a 5th-8th overall pick, may be willing to play ball.

Here are 3 reasons why Montreal could make a massive trade offer to move up:

  • Demidov’s Dominance: Ivan Demidov is an absolute force. He is the most exciting prospect in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft. He’s exactly the kind of franchise cornerstone the Canadiens need for long-term success.
  • Filling a Need: The Habs have a solid prospect pool at forward, but lack a true game-breaking forward. Demidov fills that void perfectly.
  • Chicago’s Flexibility: The Blackhawks’ rebuild is in full swing. Their interest in Parekh potentially opens up the 2nd pick for trade discussions, a sweet spot for the Canadiens to target.

The Potential Cost

Of course, landing Demidov comes at a major price. The rumored trade involves Montreal’s 5th overall pick, promising young center Owen Beck, AND their 2024 first-round pick received from Winnipeg. This is a steep ask, especially sacrificing Beck’s upside.

Montreal would need absolute certainty that Demidov is the generational talent they believe him to be. Otherwise, mortgaging the future like this is a serious gamble, even in an attempt to expedite a rebuild.

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