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Trade Targets for the Montreal Canadiens: Part Two

Montreal Canadiens Trade Targets

The 2024 NHL Trade Deadline is a week away and the Montreal Canadiens find themselves on the outside looking in once again. Currently sitting in 14th place in the Eastern Conference, the Canadiens elected to make their first move by trading Sean Monahan to the Winnipeg Jets for a 2024 first-round pick and a conditional third. However, we shouldn’t expect General Manager Kent Hughes to go into full-sell mode. Yes, he has some pieces that he will look to sell off. But what Hughes is looking to do is make some more trades like he did when he acquired Kirby Dach and Alex Newhook as he stated in his midseason interview. Earlier, we looked at some higher-profile trade targets for the Montreal Canadiens. Now we’ll take a look at some younger players who could certainly benefit from a change of scenery.

Montreal Canadiens Trade Targets

Arthur Kaliyev

One player who has found his name in the rumour mill is Los Angeles Kings forward Arthur Kaliyev. Kaliyev has struggled this year putting up just six goals and 14 points in 44 games. He’s also found himself a healthy scratch on numerous occasions. In contrast, Kaliyev fits the bill of exactly what Hughes is looking for. Kaliyev is a young talented goal scorer who possesses a heavy shot. He has been a proven goal scorer at every level he has played in outside of the NHL and has even shown flashes during his young NHL career posting 10-plus goals in each of his first two seasons. This, despite playing minimal minutes, as he has been averaging just over 12 minutes per game over his career. An increased role in Montreal could be exactly what is needed for Kaliyev to find his game.

Dylan Holloway

Next, we look at Edmonton Oilers forward Dylan Holloway. Holloway was drafted 14th overall in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft but hasn’t been able to find his footing yet with the Oilers. Despite producing respectable statistics in the AHL, scoring 17 goals and 36 points in 49 games, he has only managed to muster six goals and 13 points in 78 games at the NHL level. However, Holloway is still only 22 years old. The potential is there for him to become the top-six forward that the Oilers drafted him to be. On the other hand, the Oilers are looking to make a serious run at Lord Stanley’s Cup. They could use Holloway as an enticing trade piece to improve their roster. With the Canadiens looking to sell, they will certainly be keeping an eye on the availability of Holloway.

Kaapo Kakko

The last player we are going to identify as a trade target for the Montreal Canadiens, is former second overall pick, Kaapo Kakko. Kakko hasn’t quite lived up to expectations in New York. In 278 games, Kakko has scored just 51 goals and 109 points. He did have a productive season in 2022-23 where he scored 18 goals and 40 points in 82 games making it look like he was ready to take the next step in his development. Conversely, this season he has only been able to manage to score seven goals and 11 points in 39 games.

We have to remember that Kakko is just 23 years of age. There is still time for him to develop into the player the Rangers thought he would be when they drafted him second overall. However, for a Rangers team who is looking to make a push for the Stanley Cup this season, they may have to use their youngster as a trade chip to get them over the hump and make a legitimate run at the Cup. This is where the Canadiens can get creative to pry the young Finnish forward out of the Rangers hands.

Tons of Options for the Canadiens

Though these are just three options for the Canadiens leading into the trade deadline on March 8th, there is no shortage of moves to be made for Kent Hughes and CO. With 23 picks in the next two drafts along with a ton of high-quality prospects, the Canadiens have room to make some big moves to accelerate the rebuild and become contenders in the not so distant future.

Main Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports


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