Elliotte Friedman Is Interested In The Canadiens’ Lottery Position

Elliotte Friedman is (particularly) interested in the Canadiens’ lottery position

This is it: D-Day is here.

Tonight, the Canadiens will find out where they’ll have the chance to draft their first-round pick next month. I say the Habs, but that goes for every team with a top-16 pick, of course.

As a reminder, here are the odds of each team winning the lottery.

The Habs can finish anywhere in the top-7, except fourth. Drafting third would be pretty amazing (Philly would have to win the first lottery and the Habs would have to win the second), but it’s not impossible.

But don’t hold your breath.

In order, the sixth, fifth, seventh, second, first and third picks are scenarios that could be considered by the Habs for the Macklin Celebrini lottery. Because, yes, the club that wins won’t have to think too hard and will draft the young man.

Kent Hughes will address the media following the lottery, which starts at 6:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on TVA Sports.

Of course, you know as well as I do that Kent Hughes’ work will begin once the lottery is over. He’ll have a clearer idea of what he can and can’t do.

If he wins, he’ll draft Macklin Celebrini and accelerate his rebuild, plain and simple.

He might not win the 2025 or 2026 lotteries… but with Celebrini on the club, I don’t think the Habs would be in a position to “compete” with the Sharks, Blue Jackets, Blackhawks or Ducks.

If he finishes second? Ivan Demidov should be the club’s choice.

But it’s if the Habs don’t finish in the top-2 that it’ll be interesting to see what the GM does. The club is expected to draft the best available forward at its selection rank, regardless of when the Habs talk at the draft.

But the fact remains that Elliotte Friedman is “interested in the Habs’ lottery rank” because they’ll be a fascinating team to follow in the off-season.

Obviously, we knew the club was going to be one to watch this summer. However, that Friedman, a guy with his NHL antennae, would tie the lottery pick to the club’s off-season fascinates me.

Specifically, the Sportsnet tipster wonders what the Habs can do with a first-round pick.

Let’s remember that at the end of the season, when Kent Hughes was asked about drafting a defenseman with his first pick, the GM said instead that he would evaluate his options to move his pick if ever the best player available on his list was a fullback.

Is this what Elliotte Friedman is referring to? Could the Montreal Canadiens really trade their top pick? The question must be asked.

Speaking of drafts and picks, the Habs won’t know tonight where the Jets’ pick, obtained for Sean Monahan, will go.

Right now, we know that the pick won’t be between positions 29 and 32, since those positions are for the four teams that will make up the final four in the playoffs.

Positions 17 to 28 are for the teams that lost in the first two rounds, and the overall NHL standings have a big part to play in determining the first-round rankings.

The Rangers, Hurricanes and Stars finished ahead of Winnipeg in the overall standings: they will draft after the Jets, who lost in the first two rounds. The same principle applies to the Panthers and Canucks, who are division champions.

Every one of the five clubs I’ve just named that loses in the second round will help the Jets’ – and therefore the Habs’ – cause. Since the Rangers and Hurricanes are playing each other, the Habs can’t draft at No. 28: they’ll draft at No. 27 at the most.

In the worst-case scenario, the Panthers, Canucks and Stars win their series and the Jets give the 27th pick to the Habs. Each team among these three that loses its series will raise the pick the Jets give, making the possibility of drafting 24th a real possibility.

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