Should the Montreal Canadiens trade up in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft?

Another one of these would be nice. - Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Spor

The Canadiens have a wealth of mid-range to very good prospects, but aside from Alex Galchenyuk they don't have a show stopper. Is this the year to trade up to grab one?

If the Blackhawks and Penguins move on to the conference finals, the Montreal Canadiens will enter the NHL Entry draft with the 25th, 34th, 36th, and 55th picks in the first two rounds.

That's a wealth of high mid-range picks, to add to the wealth of mid-range prospects the Canadiens already have due to excellent picks by Trevor Timmins. But the Canadiens are on the verge of contender status, and a high impact player next year or the year after is likely worth a lot more to the organization than a bunch of mid to high impact players 4-5 years from now.

With that in mind, it seems that the Canadiens are in the unique spot of having a lot of assets to move up at the right time. But should they?

The brilliant Eric T at Broad Street Hockey wrote just under a month ago about what it costs to move up on draft day.

Using 46 trades between the 2006 and 2012 drafts, Eric found relative values for each pick in the draft as general managers value them.

Using his table, we can see that the 1st overall pick has a value of 100, while the 2nd overall is valued at 69.9. Using Eric's methodology, we can add together the Habs' top 4 picks and see where it gets them on draft day.

Package Relative Value Equivalent Pick in 2013
MTL 1st 17.8 25th
MTL 1st, NSH 2nd 29.7 15th
MTL 1st, NSH 2nd, CGY 2nd 40.6 8th
MTL 1st, NSH 2nd, CGY 2nd, MTL 2nd 45.3 6th

Moving into the top 10 is is actually possible with this package of picks, even just outside the lottery is possible. Make no mistake though, this would be a heavy cost. You're sacrificing future depth for a potential star, so you have to be completely sure.

There are also other options, like trading all three 2nd round picks to move up to 16th overall and keeping the 25th overall, or trading the two high second round picks for 20th overall. There are all kinds of options to move up.

It also comes during a draft that is hailed as being particularly deep, similar to last year. Then again, basically every draft is talked about as "the next 2003". Is this gamble worthwhile?

Just for kicks, some names that could be available in the 6th or 8th spot should the Canadiens choose to go that way: Aleksander Barkov, Valeri Nichushkin, Elias Lindholm, Sean Monahan, Rasmus Ristolainen, Nikita Zadorov, Hunter Shinkaruk, Darnell Nurse, or Max Domi.


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