On July 15 Marc Bergevin and Steve Yzerman finalized a trade that would send Mikhail Sergachev and a conditional 2nd to Tampa in return for Jonathan Drouin and a conditional 6th.
When I first saw this notification pop up on my phone I was not happy to say the least, but within an hour I realized how great this could make Montreal’s top 6 IF Alex Galchenyuk is not dealt later in the trade window. Let’s be realistic, Jonathan Drouin is not a replacement for Alex Galchenyuk; he has the potential to get to that level, but Alex Galchenyuk is already there. With these two paired on the same line, or spread across the top two lines others teams would be fearful of Montreal’s top 6 which will also include Max Pacioretty and hopefully Alex Radulov.
The main thing that confuses me about this trade all stems from the P.K. Subban trade. Everyone has heard all the gossip that P.K. Subban was traded in part or mostly due to attitude and locker room issues in return for Shea Weber, essentially thrusting Montreal into full win now mode before the core ages too much. Mikhail Sergachev was supposed to be our stud defenseman that would replace the back end offensive hole left by the departure of P.K. Subban; yet we trade him for Jonathan Drouin who has a notable history of attitude issues. With Mikhail Sergachev turning 19 soon, and Jonathan Drouin only 22, this was not a full on win now move, but the history of attitude problems make it questionable. On the other side, Drouin signing a 6 year 33 million dollar contract is already a good deal for Montreal, but with the high potential for Drouin to improve, it could turn out to be a great deal for the club.
Pacioretty – Galchenyuk – Radulov
Lehkonen – Drouin – Gallagher
Byron – Plekanec – Shaw
LW: Terry, Hudon, Martinson, Carr
C:Mitchell, McCarron, De La Rose
RW: Flynn, Sherbak Waked
This offensive depth shows great promise, there is some amazing talent in there that could do some serious damage. As of now our defense is far from weak too, we cannot create a great top 4, but our full 6 will be quite a treat; and depending on how talented Jakub Jerabek is which is yet to be seen, he may also crack the roster and push out Alexei Emelin or Nathan Beaulieu on the left side.
Markov – Weber
Emelin – Petry
Beaulieu – Benn
LD: Davidson, Jerabek,
RD: Redmond, Lernout
Keep in mind the Canadiens have even further depth players and prospects than those listed by myself in this post. In my opinion we have enough defensive and offensive depth both NHL ready and in the prospect pool to succeed in the future (after the expansion draft, and future seasons), especially after a couple entry drafts. Assuming Montreal gets all their contracts done I can see a very powerful lineup coming into the 2017-18 season.
At the end of the day, and with time to let the shock wear off, I am quite impressed with this trade. Drouin is an electrifying offensive talent that should shine in the Montreal market. I expect great success from him, and based on his interviews and press conferences he appears to be extremely happy to be in his home province.