About Final Night time: It isn’t Wright, nevertheless it’s okay

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The Habs chosen Juraj Slafkovsky and Filip Mesar with their first spherical picks. Additionally they traded Alexander Romanov to the Islanders and added centre Kirby Dach.

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The Montreal Canadiens made a few stunning strikes on the NHL Draft on the Bell Centre on Thursday evening, first deciding on Slovakian ahead Juraj Slafkovsky with the primary decide, then dealing defenceman Alexander Romanov in a three-way deal that netted them centre Kirby Dach.

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In his first draft as Habs common supervisor, Kent Hughes made a crucial splash in entrance of a hometown crowd, however maybe not the one followers have been anticipating. Choosing energy ahead Slafkovsky over presumptive prime decide Shane Wright wasn’t a complete shocker — prognosticators had them neck and neck by the top — however buying and selling an entrenched 22-year-old defenceman for a younger centre in Dach who has but to actually set up himself was the transfer that dropped jaws.

Dach, like former Hab Jesperi Kotkaniemi a summer season in the past, is a former third total decide exiting his entry-level deal. The Habs despatched Romanov and the 98th total decide to the Islanders for the thirteenth decide, then despatched the thirteenth and the 66th to Chicago for Dach. The 21-year-old ahead had 26 factors in 70 video games final season, however like Slafkovsky, Dach can be a 6’4″ ahead.

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The Slafkovsky decide was met with a considerably combined response at first by the Bell Centre, however the shock wore off rapidly.

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And commissioner Gary Bettman took nice pleasure in saying the trades amid a smattering of boos.

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As for Slafkovsky over Wright, we’ll let time determine whether or not it was the proper determination. Wright slid to fourth, however when the Seattle Kraken lastly referred to as the Kingston centre’s title, he hit the stage with the motivation of a younger man scorned.

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Slovaks went 1-2 in 2022, with the Devils choosing defenceman Simon Nemec with the second decide. Pittsburgh native Logan Cooley went third to the Coyotes. The Habs picked another time within the first spherical, taking one other Slovakian ahead, Filip Mesar, with the twenty sixth decide they acquired from Calgary within the Tyler Toffoli deal. Mesar is a 5’10 proper winger with offensive ability.

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As for native merchandise, two gamers from the QMJHL have been chosen within the first spherical: Nathan Gaucher by Anaheim at 22 and Maveric Lamoureux by Arizona at 29. Right here’s how the remainder of the primary spherical went down:

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So how did Liveblog commenters react to the draft drama? With good humour, principally.

“Plenty of sad/upset followers. I feel the hughes/Gorton honeymoon is sort of over. I hope they know what they’re doing.” -George Marly

“Im sufficiently old to recollect how glad all of us have been when Habs gained the lottery” -Jon Robb

“Actually, I figured one thing may be up with Romanov. Hughes didn’t even appear to know the place he was throughout the Press Convention the opposite day.” -Carin Latzel

“Dach might actually repay, as might Slaf. However I’m afraid HuGo are getting blinded by the identical factor that causes guys like MSL and Gallagher to be appeared over: measurement. Sure, you’ll be able to’t train measurement, however I’ve been very upset in Anderson and am afraid that we’d have a pair extra. Massive, quick, however in the long run, 40-50 level guys. Alternatively, as I mentioned beneath, I needed the Habs to take Zadina so…..” -Michael Manner  

“There’s a grasp plan that many people don’t see…but ; ) Going to be attention-grabbing to see what workforce hits the ice to start out the season…and what workforce ends it. I can think about that Bedard is of their minds…it’s in mine. ; )Time will inform for all of this to unfold…” -Gerald Girard

“Nicely we get a middle however he higher have HUGE upside potential, nonetheless younger and has measurement however….wow once more.” -Kelly Morgan

Night time one of many draft has left the Canadiens with 4 forwards to construct round: Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, Slafkvosky and Dach. Whether or not they’re all on the opening evening roster in October stays to be seen, though Hughes instructed he’d desire Slafkovsky, who performed in Finland final season, to come back to North America. Romanov’s departure seemingly leaves a giant gap on the blueline within the short-term, nevertheless it additionally probably opens a chance for former first-rounder Kaiden Guhle to advance by means of the system rapidly.

Hughes may not be performed dealing. Day two of the draft begins Friday at 11 am, and commerce candidates Jeff Petry and Josh Anderson are nonetheless right here. Primarily based on Thursday’s strikes, anticipate the sudden beneath the brand new Habs regime.

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