The Montreal Canadiens could be looking to shake things up ahead of this year's draft. General manager Marc Bergevin has let teams know his team's No. 16 selection is available for the right price.
"I’ve had conversations with other teams to check on whether certain players might be available. I was asked if my (first-round) pick might be available, and I answered yes, though I won’t trade that pick just to trade it," Bergevin said, according to The Athletic's Arpon Basu and Marc Antoine Godin. "It has to be for a player who would help us right away. And then there’s the contract. Trading the 16th pick for a player that has one year left on his contract before becoming a free agent, that’s not the smartest thing to do either.
"But my pick is even more available (than usual), yes."
While Bergevin is open to trading his team's top pick, he is looking for a top-six forward in return, reported TSN's Pierre LeBrun on Thursday's edition of "Insider Trading."
The Canadiens' offense showed immense potential during the 2019-20 postseason when they knocked out the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins in the qualifying round.
With the sudden rise of youngsters like Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Nick Suzuki and the aging of core veterans such as Carey Price and Shea Weber, Bergevin believes relying on their youth and not having to add depth players in the offseason can keep his squad moving forward.
"There’s no doubt we are working with a small sample size with what happened in 10 games (in the postseason), but at a certain point you have to take the risk that your kids will keep progressing," he said. "We’ve reached a point where we’re ready to take that risk."