Kent Hughes would have already made a big mistake in the draft with a specific player

Julien Trekker
July 29, 2023  (9:34)

We must always be careful when evaluating young players, because everything can change so quickly.

Knowing this, we can only analyze the results we have now, and it is hard to deny that a costly mistake seems to have been made by the management of the Montreal Canadiens.
No, we are not talking about the selection of Juraj Slafkovsky instead of Logan Cooley and Shane Wright. We are perfectly aware that Slafkovsky can still surprise and may end up being much more dominant than these two prospects from the Coyotes and the Kraken.

A bad choice at the end of the 1st round?

However, we are already a little concerned about the other 1st-round pick of the club, Filip Mesar, especially when we look at a few names that the Canadiens passed on at the 26th spot to select him.
One, in particular, is Jiri Kulich.
And it's not like it was completely unpredictable.
Even last year, most observers were very surprised to see Kulich still available at the 26th spot in Montreal, and even then, we knew he would probably be a steal at that stage.
In the end, Kent Hughes and his colleagues overlooked Kulich to draft Mesar.
A decision that is aging poorly right before our eyes.
Mesar accumulated 51 points in 52 games in the OHL last season, a junior league.
As for Kulich, he was astonishing and had a historic season for an 18-year-old. He collected 46 points, including 24 goals, in 62 games in the American Hockey League. (plus 11 points and 7 goals in 12 AHL playoff games)
Truly impressive numbers for an 18-year-old in the AHL.
Imagine if the Canadiens had Kulich in their already rich prospect pool. He was eventually selected 28th overall by the Buffalo Sabres, who, according to their GM, could not believe he was still available.
It could have been a real home run for Kent Hughes, but let's give Mesar a chance to prove us wrong.

Credits : Nicolas Desrosiers, Marqueur.com
JULY 29   |   241 ANSWERS
Kent Hughes would have already made a big mistake in the draft with a specific player

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Kulich7732 %
Mesar16468 %
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