What if Hughes made a brilliant gesture

What if Hughes made a brilliant gesture?

Kent Hughes and Vincent Lecavalier would not have had to meet with the media yesterday if Connor Bedard had been considered for the next draft. But Shane Wright, Juraj Slafkovsky and Logan Cooley don’t deserve to be discredited.

These are the three players the Canadian has targeted as candidates for the draft’s first pick. Hughes didn’t name Cooley, but he is identified by most scouts as one of the top three players available.

The general manager of the Habs was undoubtedly telling the truth when he indicated that he had not stopped his election.

He wouldn’t have identified him either if he had when he spoke to us in Brossard yesterday afternoon. It will keep the surprise for the amateurs who will be in attendance at the Bell Center on Thursday night and for the others who will be riveted in front of their TV.

What a scenario that would be!

But what if Hughes hit a bang in his first draft as GM?

Why not try to get the first pick CH-picking New Jersey Devils to take a double shot?

Hughes has contracts on his payroll that he’d probably like to get rid of and a ton of draft picks.

Since Wright and Cooley are centers, the Habs could call up one of them and Slafkovsky.

Imagine the happy reaction that would erupt at the Bell Centre.

That would be crazy!

Open to all

Any chances Hughes could get the Devils first pick?

“It is also possible that we trade for the second choice, that we trade our first choice. We are open to everything,” he answered my question.

At the end of the meeting, the journalists tried to guess which player might interest the Canadian.

We tended to think it might be Wright.

The usefulness of Lecavalier

Lecavalier, who was the first pick of the 1998 class, spoke to Wright on the phone to find out how he felt in the shoes of the first listed player.

It was good.

As Hughes said, being the #1 draft pick and being picked #1 by the Canadians are two things. It increases the pressure for the youngster arriving in Montreal

But Lecavalier experienced much the same thing when he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

A billionaire named Art Williams, who had made his fortune in the insurance world, had given him the label of hockey’s Michael Jordan.

only that !

Jacques Demers, who combined the functions of general manager and coach, was in good shape!

“I wouldn’t say I was overwhelmed by this event. But I was really lucky to have Jacques by my side,” said Lecavalier.

“Without saying he had lowered expectations of me, he told me that they would protect me. He didn’t pressure me. I started in a third line and progressed.

“Jacques made my experience incredible. »

A good tutor in St-Louis

Martin St-Louis wants to be a good man to guide the player his bosses choose to be best in class. He will know how to calm him down and help him adjust well to his new surroundings.

So, barring a happy surprise, don’t expect the young hope, who is set to show up for training camp in September, to turn Montreal upside down right away.

The McDavids, Matthews or MacKinnon don’t rule the streets and Wright had a season underperforming. Its value has fallen in the eyes of many recruiters.

Didn’t playing in 2020-2021 affect his progress?

“It might be a factor but he developed in a league [Ligue junior de l’Ontario] where most of the players didn’t play last year either [en raison de la COVID-19] commented Hughes.

“Without the game of the year, he could have been named the best player in the U18 World Cup.

“We saw it at 3pm [il avait bénéficié d’une exemption de la Ligue de l’Ontario]. I’ve seen him at the U17 World Championships in Medicine Hat, the Canada Games and the invitation tournament for top prospects. »

Shortness of breath?

That means Hughes has had Wright on his radar for a long time.

The young man may be a little out of breath at having attracted so much attention. But that doesn’t mean he’s not ready to take it to the next level.

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