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The 5th Overall Pick: Zayne Parekh

June 7, 2024, 11:37 PM ET [885 Comments]
Brandon Smillie
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
What's happening Habs fans!

I hope you're enjoying the start of the summer season as the Stanley Cup playoffs wind down. I'll be honest, I'm already missing having hockey games to watch every night but I'm pretty pumped for the draft not only to see who MTL brings into the fold but for all the potential trades that could happen. Could MTL trade 5th overall for Zegras? Maybe? Will the Leafs move Marner? Where will Saros land? New Utah ownership looking to make a big splash? So many storylines for the summer should give us fans an interesting summer.

Also, congrats to Karine on an amazing run with HB! I can't believe how much she gave to her fans and HB over these years and I wish her all the best in whatever comes next! Great work Karine!

Alright...

5th pick...

HuGo and crew walk up to the podium and it's gone: Celebrini, Levshunov, Demidov, and Lindstrom...

MTL is proud to select... from then Memorial Cup winning Saginaw Spirit, CHL Defenseman of the Year: Zayne Parekh!



How we feel about that Habs fans? You should feel like you are watching HuGo walking up to the plate in a Homerun Derby and looking to pulverize a ball out of the park. That's what picking Parekh is to many draft speculators. He is a high risk/high reward play in that he didn't really display a history of offensive production until this season AND his defensive work left many wondering if he can make it work at the NHL level. Some of that trepidation may have fallen off after a great Memorial Cup showing where he was impactful in his own end as well as the opponents so a pick at #5 is very reasonable of a prognostication. Of course we must remember, these are kids. They have a lot of room to grow intellectually, physically, and professionally. So, could this pick be a massive win long-term? If Parekh can translate to game breaking D man, oh yes. If he can't and he's struggling to keep his place due to D zone play he may look more like a Brandon Montour long-term and need a lot of time to find his place in the NHL world.

Either way, when you see 66 games played, 33 goals, 63 assists you say "That's a helluva good draft season for a F!" and then you correct them and say "He was a DEFENSEMAN!" It's a crazy impressive draft season for the 6'0", 181 lbs defenseman and he will most certainly be taken in the top 10 in a few weeks.



Same arguments I made/acknowledged in the Silayev blog I posted remain. Habs well stocked with D prospects, yada yada... Silayev was representative of a potential unicorn level D prospect who brings a different dynamic to the D group and Parekh could end up with a similar level of impact, just in a different way. Should you believe this is just the beginning for Zayne, then this is a no brainer pick as you have someone who could lead the PP with one of the other prospects long-term, but also have the potential to be a 60+ pt, RH D man. This pick would arguably give MTL the most well rounded D pipeline in the entire league as soon as the pick is called. Can't complain about that... Well, I'm sure someone will complain because people are people and many love to be contrarians.

My personal favorite hockey info site, Elite Prospects, has Zayne at #5 and it's tough to argue the spot after the Memorial Cup. I would even speculate there is a chance Chicago takes him to round out their future blue line, but I think Levshunov may be Chicago's pick due to his all around play and likely ability to join the Hawks next season. Elite Prospects tracked 9 of Parekh's games and scored him an overall of 99 with 100 Offence rating, 83 Transition rating, and 85 Defense rating. Everything points to Parekh being a top 5 pick at this time, in my opinion, so there's a real probability he is HuGo's pick this summer.

Does that sit well with you fellow Hab fan or draft enthusiast? Tell everyone your valuable opinion in the comment section and share this blog with your friends and family so you can enjoy some heated hockey talk!

GHG
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