Photo credit:
Insider reveals Kent Hughes acquisition is a big steal; He is set to become one of the best defenseman in the league

Insider reveals Kent Hughes acquisition is a big steal; He is set to become one of the best defenseman in the league

BY ELIAS     OCTOBER 1, 2023  (8:23 PM)
A few weeks ago, the Montreal Canadiens released a documentary detailing the intricacies of the last draft. This video contained a wealth of interesting information. While the debates around David Reinbacher and Jacob Fowler were intriguing to follow, the segment on young defenseman Bogdan Konyushkov greatly caught my attention.

Indeed, as you will see around the 13th minute of the documentary, the Canadiens management had high regard for the young Russian. Nick Bobrov even went as far as to pay him the ultimate compliment, regarding Konyushkov.

The more than positive opinion of hockey experts doesn't just come from within the CH, it is indeed prevalent everywhere, especially in Russia. Regarding this, the NHL veteran, Igor Larionov, spoke with Nicolas Cloutier of TVA Sports about Konyushkov. You will see he didn't have much negative to say about him!

The NHL veteran is currently coaching the 4th round pick (110th choice) by the Canadiens in the last draft with Torpedo of Nizhny Novgorod in the KHL. He does not hesitate to play his defenseman nearly 24 minutes per game, more if needed.

Larionov is adamant, Konyushkov would currently be a key player with the Canadiens had he already come to North America. A statement that is sure to please many fans of the club:

"In my opinion, if I sent him to you today, he would be a key player for Montreal," Larionov said over the phone. "I know the team, I know the players. I watched a few Canadiens games last season. And I know Bogdan: his skill level, his work ethic, his desire to be the best player."

"For sure, he will become one of the best defensemen in the KHL. As for the NHL, he would be able to play this year. He would be good enough." - Igor Larionov

If his three-season contract with his KHL club has cooled many, Larionov asserts that the plan with Konyushkov is indeed to play in the NHL. The coach is even already praising the league and especially the city of Montreal.

"Any young Russian player obviously dreams of playing in the NHL. Especially for a team like Montreal with a rich history and traditions. I told Bogdan that it's a fantastic city to play hockey in." - Igor Larionov

In 64 games in the KHL last season, Konyushkov scored 2 goals and 23 assists, for a total of 25 points. He also added 5 points in 10 playoff games. This season, in 10 regular-season games in the Russian league, he has already scored a goal and collected 5 assists.

Imagine the progress he will have made in three years playing with men and being a leader in the second-best league in the world!

One thing is certain, the Habs defense will be very well-stocked in the coming years. It would therefore not be surprising if one or more players mentioned below by Raphaël Doucet are involved in a transaction as it will be impossible to keep them all. Only time will tell who will be sacrificed!