The Montreal Canadiens have had an eventful draft so far, and we're not even five picks in.
After shocking the hockey world by passing on Shane Wright at first overall, the Canadiens made two massive trades to bolster their roster on Thursday night, first dealing defenseman Alexander Romanov and pick no.98 to the New York Islanders in exchange for the 13th overall pick, and then flipping said pick to the Chicago Blackhawks, along with pick no.66, in exchange for Kirby Dach.
Where to even begin with these?
The main story here is Dach, the third overall pick in the 2019 draft and a budding star, who now joins a Canadiens squad stockpiling talent as they hope to erase a disastrous 2021-22 season.
Dach is a work in progress, of course. The 21-year-old scored just nine goals and 26 points in 70 games for the Blackhawks last season and has clearly struggled to establish himself at the NHL level to this point. But the potential is what is so tantalizing here, as Dach is the type of player to take a major leap after a strong offseason of training.
But he didn't come for free.
Going the other way is Romanov, a once highly-touted young defenseman who has seen his stock fall of late as the Canadiens fell to dead-last in the league standings. Romanov, 22, spent two years with the Canadiens, recording 19 points in 133 games. A physical defenseman, he will add a major size element to the Islanders' blueline, and perhaps needed a fresh start to truly reach his potential.
On the Blackhawks' end of things, the club has now dealt two exciting young forwards in Dach and Alex DeBrincat today in exchange for picks No. 7, No. 13, No. 39, No. 66, and a third-rounder in 2024.
That's not a great haul for arguably the Hawks' two biggest trade chips. But it certainly kicks off the scorched-earth rebuild new GM Kyle Davidson has clearly wanted to undertake since taking over the job.
Stay tuned as a truly crazy draft continues.