Should The Montreal Canadiens Consider Pursuing Leon Draisaitl After Successful Draft?

  • Leon Draisaitl Trade Packages
  • Pros and Cons
  • Alternate options other than trades
Edmonton Oilers v Montreal Canadiens
Edmonton Oilers v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Todd Matthews made a lot of sense when he outlined why trading for Leon Draisaitl would be an atrocious strategy. He mentioned they must sign Juraj Slafkovsky, Alex Newhook, Lane Hutson, Joshua Roy, Jordan Harris, Logan Mailloux, and David Reinbacher to long-term deals when the time came. Draisaitl's contract would be an anchor for keeping all these players, and it'd be better off to see the team grow together.

However, the 2024 NHL Draft results make me wonder if Leon Draisaitl wouldn't be such a bad acquisition after all. The Canadiens would need to give away a lot of assets to acquire Draisaitl, but adding Ivan Demidov and Micheal Hage to this core would make Draisaitl the missing piece to turning this team into a contender.

The Canadiens will be a good team when Demidov comes to North America. All their players who are already with the organization will have another year under their belts, and Demidov will add the missing element to their attack. Can you imagine if the Canadiens found a way to add Leon Draisaitl to this lineup?

What would the trade package look like?

The Canadiens have plenty of defensive depth in their organization, while the Oilers need some help on the backend. If the Oilers and Draisaitl don't extend, Edmonton would be wise to explore trade options for him. It would make the Oilers worse in the interim, and Draisaitl's value may be at rock bottom after his performance in the last two rounds of the playoffs, but they also can't let him walk away for nothing at the end of the 2024-25 season.

The Canadiens would have to add one of their best young defensemen to start this trade package. David Reinbacher would be the logical choice here, as he still holds tremendous value after getting drafted fifth overall last season. In my opinion, Reinbacher may not be as valuable as people expect, so getting Draisaitl in a trade for him would be ideal.

The Canadiens also have two first-round picks next season. They'd have to add at least one, which they can afford to do after their successful two picks in the 2024 edition. The Canadiens could also add another first-rounder in 2026 or 2027 and hope that Draisaitl turns them into a good enough team with all the talent around him to make that pick irrelevant.

Acquiring Draisaitl is a lofty goal and an expensive one. However, if a player of Draisaitl's caliber were available, the Habs would be doing themselves a disservice if they didn't kick the tires. The Canadiens' stock among fans wasn't pretty after this season. An offseason where they draft Ivan Demidov and Michael Hage and then acquire Leon Draisaitl would turn the franchise around. Losing Reinbacher would barely put a dent in their defense depth, and adding all this forward talent would make the fans forget about Reinbacher anyway.

If the Canadiens, or any other team, have an interest in Draisaitl, they'll have to go the trade route. It wouldn't be wise to let it play out and hope Draisaitl heads to his UFA offseason in 2025, because the Oilers would likely find a way to re-sign him.