Pinocchio Hughes and the Canadian’s “indecisiveness”.

Without batting an eyelid, Kent Hughes said that 72 hours before the National Hockey League (NHL) draft, the Canadiens organization has yet to make a decision about the identity of the player it will even pick.

It’s a little strong coffee. Very strong even.

A chance that the draft will not take place at the end of June as usual, because that would probably have been decided on a coinShe let out a dead laugh.

One thing is for sure, we are a very long way from Patrick Roy, who immediately ended the 2013 Nathan MacKinnon vs. Seth Jones comparison match. Roy had taken Jones out of the equation manu militari. And he went further by saying that not picking the Halifax Mooseheads forward would be very difficult for the Avalanche.

For those who may have forgotten, it was Seth Jones, not MacKinnon, who topped the NHL Central scouting list that year.

Roy’s statements certainly clashed with established conventions. But at the same time, this approach sent a clear message to MacKinnon: You are our man, we trust you and we do not hesitate.


We fully understand that the NHL prefers that the identity of the first pick be announced on draft night. After all, broadcasters pay dearly for the privilege of broadcasting league games and events. And the higher the ratings of these partners, the higher the price for acquiring the league’s next TV rights should be.

Not to mention the thousands of spectators who incredibly paid large sums of money to get tickets. At the time of writing, only general admission tickets, which offer seating on the upper levels of the Bell Center, were still available for Thursday evenings.

Forward Shane Wright is traded as the Canadians’ pick at the Bell Center on Thursday.

Photo: The Canadian Press/Reuben Polansky-Shapiro

It has been 42 years since the CH has not conducted the first selection of a selection meeting. The page historical this evening certainly contributes to the hustle and bustle at the counters.

However, there is some leeway between pleading indecisiveness and simply pointing out to media representatives that a decision has been made internally and will only be announced in draft form.

It’s not hesitation. We just want to make sure our homework is done. We also want to enable all of our recruiters to make their voices heardexplained Kent Hughes.

When I told them this, two NHL scouts spontaneously burst out laughing.

Of course, Canadian recruiters have already done their homework. And twice instead of once, we have to believe, as they rely on two co-directors of amateur recruitment in Martin Lapointe and Nick Bobrov. During the CH season report, Kent Hughes also reiterated that preparing for the repechage was the organization’s priority. And that’s what happened.

By playing the card We are not sure and We want to do more checksmanagement is sending ambiguous signals to its future First Choice.


The evidence that CH has done its homework meticulously can be found in a multitude of details. Like these offers, which have been launched for several weeks, to organizations that decide in the middle of the first round.

The Canadian is very combative in his intention to trade quantity to position himself better, especially in the first round. The team has 14 choices in this session.

Juraj Slafkovsky impressed with 7 goals in the last Olympic tournament.

Photo: Reuters/DAVID W CERNY

The teams approached by Kent Hughes were offered the 26th and 33rd picks (the 33rd pick being the first of the second round) of the CH in exchange for their position midway through the first round.

Montreal recruiters are not caves. Like everyone else, they see that around 19th place there is a kind of pause in this hopefulness (a talent drop). On the other hand, the first choice of the second round is worth its weight in gold. The day after the first round, the GMs holding the top picks in the second round get a lot of calls. Everyone wants them! So the Canadian’s offer is certainly attractive for many teamssays a recruiter from a club in the west.

Now it remains to be seen how the rest of the poker game will unfold.

The Habs have a keen interest in completing this market as soon as possible in order to capitalize on a possible midfielder selection in the first round through improvement to advance further into the top 5 or top 10.

On the other hand, teams that are in the middle of the first round have a keen interest in waiting until the very last second to close such a deal. For example, if you trade your 15th pick too quickly and a player you placed in the top 10 is still available at the 15th level, you might bite your fingers. Better keep your hands on the CH offer and take the time to see if the session takes an unexpected direction.


Incidentally, the team’s supporters learned nothing significant from the Canadians during this press conference. It was certainly necessary to be equipped with a highly sensitive decoder to capture all the nuances of the language of Kent Hughes and Vincent Lecavalier.

It was remarkable, for example, that those responsible at CH insisted that in their eyes there are always three players in the race, which leaves the American center Logan Cooley with the Canadian center Shane Wright and the large Slovakian winger Juraj Slafkowski in the portrait.

Kent Hughes has also pointed out on numerous occasions that the purpose of the exercise is not to identify the best 18-year-old player, but rather who will be the best by the time they are 22, 23 or 24. Again, Cooley seems to be the player with the highest development potential.

Logan Cooley is expected to finish in the top three in the next draft.

Photo: Getty Images/Mike Mulholland

Hughes often said that the familiarity with a hope (having watched him play over a period of years) is an essential aspect of the recruitment process. With that in mind, it was impressive to hear the GM list all the competitions and all the levels he’s seen Shane Wright do in the past. Agents are known to recruit their potential clients when they are 13-14 years old.

Lecavalier also pointed out that it is difficult to assess a prospect playing in a team that offers him little playing time, which was a direct reference to Slafkovsky.

Additionally, Vincent Lecavalier’s call to Shane Wright undoubtedly proved to be a very instructive exercise for the Canadian.

Apart from that, what was the CH trying to find out with this call? Did we really want to know how Wright handled the pressure of being identified as a future draft first pick, or did we want to understand why Wright’s offensive production fell short of expectations?

In short, we only have three days left to try to read the tea leaves.

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