Photo of Kent Hughes
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We just got a big hint about Kent Hughes' next acquisition

Published April 29, 2024 at 9:04 PM

Since Thursday, the best players under 18 are in Finland to participate in the U18 World Championship. Tij Iginla is notably there.

It's an opportunity for the NHL club's management teams to go and observe the prospects not only for the upcoming draft but also for future ones. On this topic, even though he won't be draft-eligible until 2026, eyes will definitely be on the young prodigy Gavin McKenna.

The latter, who is only 16 years old, is already making a significant impression. The Medicine Hat Tigers forward in the WHL had a two-goal game in a 6-3 victory for Canada over Sweden to kick off his tournament.

So, it's no surprise that Kent Hughes and his associates made the trip to attend the event. Accompanied by Martin Lapointe, Vincent Lecavalier, and Nick Bobrov, the CH's GM attended Canada's opening match and the McKenna Show! They undoubtedly regretted that the young man would be available to draft just as the club will be moving to another stage of their rebuild.

Connor Bedard's cousin (yes, indeed) was granted the title of exceptional player by the WHL at just 14 years old. After his first full season in the WHL, he finished with no fewer than 97 points, including 34 goals, in 64 regular-season games. Therefore, it's no surprise that many see him as the next generational NHL player. He's even already nicknamed the next one.

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Habs management might well observe McKenna, but even if his talent is undeniable, it is hoped that CH will not have a chance to draft him in 2026. Just imagine the reaction of the fans and journalists if the club spent two more seasons at the bottom of the league. The city would be in uproar!

Hughes and co. must definitely turn their eyes towards other young players. Besides Macklin Celebrini, whom the Canadiens have an 8.5% chance of obtaining, several prospects on the fringes of the next draft are at this competition.

We only need to indeed think of Tij Iginla (Canada), but also Maxime Massé (Canada), Cole Eiserman (USA), or Cole Hutson (USA), to name just a few.

April 29   |   488 answers
We just got a big hint about Kent Hughes' next acquisition

Which one would you aim for with the CH's first pick?

Cayden Lindstrom28758.8 %
Tij Iginla13327.3 %
Cole Eiserman6813.9 %
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