Draft 2022: the worst time to get the first pick?

Published January 21, 2022 at 10:36 PM

The upcoming draft will simply be crucial for the Montreal Canadiens. Not only will this draft be held in Montreal, but it will also be Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes' first draft in Montreal.

Furthermore, the Habs have a good chance of getting the first overall pick, as the team sits at the 32nd and last place in the NHL's overall standings. However, former scout Grant McCagg, who is very active on Twitter, is not convinced of the potential of this draft, which is expected to be lower than usual.

For this reason, McCagg suggests that the team that gets the first pick might want to take advantage of its value to trade him, as Shane Wright, who is seen as the number one prospect in the draft, doesn't offer as many guarantees as other first picks like Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews, for example.

McCagg adds that the last year he was this unconfident was in 2012, when Nail Yakupov was selected by the Oilers with the first pick. While not comparing Wright to Yakupov in any way, it is a sobering statement.

As for the rest of the top-10, there are several other good prospects like Joakim Kemell, Matthew Savoie, Conor Geekie, and Brad Lambert who are close behind Wright. So McCagg's idea of going down in the draft to get a prospect not much lower than Wright, while getting compensation in return, is far from far-fetched.

In short, what would you do if the Habs got the first pick in the lottery? Would you trade that pick, or would you draft the best prospect available?
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