Kent Hughes made a decision that he will regret for the Montreal Canadiens, and the Buffalo Sabres are very happy

Published October 8, 2023 at 11:50

When the Canadiens drafted Filip Mesar with their second first-round pick in 2022, most experts agreed that Kent Hughes had secured a talented forward.

However, Mesar's progress has stagnated since then, and after an average season at the junior level with the Kitchener Rangers in the Ontario junior league, he only made a brief appearance at his second training camp with the Canadiens.

Meanwhile, in Buffalo, Jiri Kulich, chosen two spots after Mesar in the 2022 draft, is progressing well. As reported by, we might see him in the NHL much earlier than the Canadiens' prospect.

TVA Sports journalist Nicolas Cloutier recently spoke with Kulich's coach with the Rochester Americans in the American league, Seth Appert, and he had nothing but praise for the young Czech forward.

"He had an incredible summer. He's knocking on the NHL's door."

It should be noted that Kulich made the jump to the American league in 2022-2023 and had an impressive season with a total of 46 points, including 24 goals in 62 games.

He even added 16 pounds of muscle to his frame and, even if he wasn't very successful at the Sabres' training camp, his coach was clear about his chances of success in the NHL.

"We firmly believe this: Kulich will be a very good player in the National Hockey League. If it happens at the beginning of the season, then great. If it's a bit later this year, no matter. Our general manager Kevyn Adams and our head coach Don Granato have proven they're not afraid to give young players opportunities."

This is excellent news for the Sabres organization, but despite Kulich's progress, it's still too early to say that Kent Hughes made a mistake selecting Filip Mesar over Kulich.

As the Canadiens' GM has said before, the real measure is where the player will be in a few years before judging if it was the right decision.

The same patience should apply to Juraj Slafkovsky, just as it should for his Slovak compatriot.

Let's be patient.

October 8   |   147 answers
Kent Hughes made a decision that he will regret for the Montreal Canadiens, and the Buffalo Sabres are very happy

Who do you think will be the best player in the NHL?

Jiri Kulich6745.6 %
Filip Mesar8054.4 %
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