The Montreal Canadiens offseason is not finished, but they are unlikely to turn this thing into a contender before training camp begins. I think fans are pretty realistic about this team’s chances at playoff qualification in 2023, and the expectation is they will miss by a wide margin.
The Canadiens were not contenders last season, and turned into fairly aggressive sellers on the trade market after contending for the Stanley Cup in 2021.
The Habs shipped out veteran forwards Tyler Toffoli and Artturi Lehkonen as well as defenders Ben Chiarot and Brett Kulak before the trade deadline passed on March 21st. The return was a pair of first round draft picks, a pair of second round draft picks, prospects Justin Barron, Emil Heineman and Ty Smilanic as well as a couple of later draft picks and depth NHL players.
It was quite a haul to help fuel the rebuild that is going on in Montreal. It is likely that we will see the team continue to retool throughout the 2022-23 season as well. They probably don’t have quite as much to sell off in the upcoming season, but they will surely be busy once again leading up to the NHL’s trade deadline in 2023.
Of course, we are assuming here that the Canadiens will be sellers again in the upcoming season, but aren’t we all expecting that? If so, what exactly could we see traded away during the season, and what kind of a return could the Habs get for their biggest pieces of trade bait?
It is always difficult to trade players with term on their contracts, so contending teams will be most interested in Canadiens players whose contracts are ending a year from now.
Let’s take a look at the players that are most likely to be traded by the Canadiens and who could bring back the biggest return during the 2022-23 season.