Photo of Arber Xhekaj
Photo credit: Habs Eyes On the Prize

A monster trade by the Canadiens involving three pieces including Arber Xhekaj has just been put forward by Jean-Charles Lajoie

Published March 21, 2024 at 6:11 PM

We all know Kent Hughes wants, and will most likely succeed in, acquiring a young player by the opening of the next NHL draft. So, after Kirby Dach and Alex Newhook, it remains to be seen who will be the lucky one.

Many would like this player to be none other than Trevor Zegras.

Cole Caufield's good friend would be available in Anaheim and could be a prime target for Kent Hughes. But what would be the price to acquire the 22-year-old forward?

Warning, this text contains speculations and not rumors

In a recent article for TVA Sports, host Jean-Charles Lajoie raised the question and attempted to answer it. According to him, the CH would have to sacrifice crowd favorite Arber Xhekaj.

Here is the proposed trade:

To Montreal: Trevor Zegras

To Anaheim: Arber Xhekaj + 2024 1st round pick (top-5 protected)

While it's hard to know what Pat Verbeek really wants in return for the player who was selected 9th overall in the 2019 draft, Lajoie speculates and thinks that the Ducks can't do without a defenseman like Xhekaj, who is built to play in the West. The host also thinks that the Ducks would certainly not refuse another draft pick.

"To the question of the day, I added Arber Xhekaj to this first top-5 protected pick. To receive, you have to give, and an asset like Trevor Zegras must be paid for. In other words, if Zegras moves, it will not be a bargain for his acquirer.

Anaheim has a lot of good young defensemen, especially on the right side. I doubt they would do without an Xhekaj on the left side. The sheriff is cut in the mold of western hockey and he would render valuable services to the Ducks for several seasons.

So Xhekaj and the Canadiens' highest top-5 protected first-round pick to get Trevor Zegras?!" - Jean Charles Lajoie

Zegras, who has a contract of $5.75M annually until the end of the 2025-2026 season, has accumulated 4 goals and 3 assists for 7 points in 20 games this season. He had finished the last two seasons with respectively 61 and 65 points in 75 and 81 games.

For his part, Xhekaj, who was never drafted, finishes his entry contract in the NHL this season. He will therefore be a restricted free agent this summer. Capable of playing hockey, he has accumulated 3 goals and 6 assists for a total of 9 points in 34 games in 2023-2024, it's his physical aspect that may interest teams.

Via HF
March 21   |   600 answers
A monster trade by the Canadiens involving three pieces including Arber Xhekaj has just been put forward by Jean-Charles Lajoie

Would you trade Xhekaj to get Zegras?

Absolutely9916.5 %
No50183.5 %
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