Predicting what Kent Hughes will do with the 26th pick

The pick Montreal acquired in the Sean Monahan trade has officially been set in stone. With the 26th pick, Kent Hughes has plenty of options.
Montreal Canadiens Introduce Kent Hughes
Montreal Canadiens Introduce Kent Hughes / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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The slotting of the Montreal Canadiens pick acquired in the Sean Monahan trade has officially been established, with the conference finals set.

Montreal will select in the top five as we all know, with sights reportedly set on nabbing one of the top forwards. But they have another chance to add a high impact first round prospect, and they will have the option to select 26th overall, among other options. it's not inconceivable to think that Kent Hughes keeps the pick and selects a player, but he could go another route.

There are different opinions across every scouting agency - so some have a guy ranked as the 20th best prospect, that is ranked top 10 in another scout's rankings. Having said that, it is likely that some may agree with me and some may not. Either way, if the Canadiens draft well, they have a great chance to add a highly talented player.

Generally, the top 15 picks are the closest to being legitimate NHL players within 2-4 years; this isn't a rule of thumb, however. Take for instance the Dallas Stars, who are currently a favourite to go to the Stanley Cup finals. Jason Robertson was drafted 39th overall, Logan Stankoven was selected 47th overall and Wyatt Johnston went 23rd overall. Mavrik Bourque was selected 30th and this past season he was named the American Hockey League MVP.

So, the pick the Canadiens acquired from the Winnipeg Jets could prove to be a very important one, especially with the way Kent Hughes has drafted. The Habs are also back in familiar territory with pick 26, after drafting Filip Mesar in that spot at the 2022 draft. Mesar should play his first full professional season in 2024-25 and with the excitement he will garner, it's likely the 2024 pick will be the same.