NHL Rumors: Canadiens Looking For Third 1st Round Pick In 2023

The Montreal Canadiens have two first round picks in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft - their own and the Florida Panthers'. Not only that, it is likely that they will own the Calgary Flames' first round pick and their own for next season. But the Canadiens are looking to get a third 2023 first round pick. They feel this is the kind of draft that could set the team on the right path.

The team started the season much better than anticipated by most, but have ultimately fallen in the standings. This season has shown the types of players they have ready for the NHL and who will be a part of their future. The team has also gotten some contributions from players they hope to trade, Sean Monahan in particular.

The Canadiens want to flip him for a first round pick before the trade deadline, resulting in them having acquired two first rounders from taking him in for his final season from the Flames. Monahan has scored six goals and 17 points in 25 games and is a strong middle-six option for a contending team to trade for at the deadline. What will make it tough for the Canadiens is getting teams to give up a first round pick in this draft as it is set to be very good.

The Canadiens already likely have two picks that have a chance to win the draft lottery with both them and the Panthers currently out of a playoff spot. The other pick they will likely get is a late first rounder.

They will try to trade Jonathan Drouin and Evgeni Dadonov, but neither are going to bring the Canadiens a first round pick with their production or cap hit. There are two players Montreal doesn't really want to trade, but there have been interest in - Josh Anderson and Joel Edmundson. Both have multiple years remaining and if they are being offered a first round pick and possibly more, it could be worth it. Either way the Canadiens are set up very nicely for the next couple of seasons to finish building through the draft.

Photo credit: © Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports