The Canadiens didn’t raise eyebrows on Thursday just by selecting Juraj Slafkovský first overall in the 2022 NHL Draft. The Canadiens also revved up the rowdy Montreal crowd by moving picks, landing Kirby Dach from the Blackhawks, and sending Alexander Romanov to the Islanders.
It’s probably easiest to look at this step-by-step.
Trade 1: Canadiens and Islanders (Romanov, picks)
Islanders receive: defenseman Alexander Romanov and the 98th pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.
Canadiens receive: The 13th pick, which they would not end up keeping.
Trade 2: Canadiens and Blackhawks (Dach, picks for Chicago rebuild)
Canadiens receive: Kirby Dach
Blackhawks receive: The 13th pick and 66th pick of the 2022 NHL Draft.
Some thoughts on the Canadiens, Blackhawks, and Islanders following these two interconnected trades:
- The Blackhawks selected Dach, 21, with the third pick of the 2019 NHL Draft. Like Juraj Slafkovský, Dach adds a big body to the Canadiens’ mix. So far, Kirby Dach generated 59 points in 152 career regular-season NHL games. Montreal’s banking on upside, as the two-way results have been middling.
Dach is a pending RFA, so it remains to be seen what the big forward will cost the Canadiens, cap-hit-wise.
- Romanov, 22, already has 133 NHL games under his belt, though he only played in four playoff contests during the Canadiens’ big playoff run. Romanov is a 10.2 (c) RFA, meaning he isn’t eligible for an offer sheet.
Elliotte Friedman indicated that the Islanders could have something else cooking … perhaps J.T. Miller-related?
As we wait for the first pick: not sure of all the particulars, but believe something is up with VAN and NYI
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 7, 2022
- The Blackhawks already made a big trade during 2022 NHL Draft week, sending Alex DeBrincat to the Senators for three draft picks. If nothing else, the Blackhawks are adding volume to their prospect pool with multiple picks (even after coughing up a first-rounder last offseason in the Seth Jones trade).
So, if you’re keeping score, it’s DeBrincat and Dach for Nos. 7, 13, 39 and 66 overall. #Blackhawks
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 7, 2022
Could there be even more this offseason, with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane both entering contract years? Perhaps these rebuild-related moves might lead Toews and Kane to actively ask out of Chicago.
Such moves definitely bring heat to the Blackhawks, and maybe they could’ve squeezed more out of these trades. But at least give Chicago credit for committing to a rebuild. Making it actually pay off is the toughest part; spinning things could also be challenging.