June 24, 2024

Montreal Canadiens Eyeing Talented KHL Forward

Maxim Tsyplakov is contemplating signing with an NHL team for the 2024-25 season, and the Montreal Canadiens are keen on boosting their top-six forward lineup. To secure such talent, they might need to negotiate a trade or seek players through the draft or free agency if no immediate options arise. With the No. 5 overall pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, the Canadiens are well-positioned to acquire a top player, similar to their choice of David Reinbacher in 2023.

Former NHL coach Bob Hartley, a regular contributor to BPM Sports, recently speculated on their podcast about Tsyplakov being a potential fit for the Canadiens. Hartley indicated mutual interest between Tsyplakov and the team.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if the Canadiens acquire him. He’s a strong skater with a solid build and excellent puck control. He has had his best offensive season and possesses the size and style suited for North American play. I see him as a good third-line player with strong defensive skills and increased offensive output this year. Despite being Russian, he plays a North American style,” said Hartley.

Given Hartley’s extensive connections across the NHL and KHL, his insights suggest genuine interest from the Canadiens in Tsyplakov.

Evaluating Maxim Tsyplakov

Maxim Tsyplakov, a player for HC Spartak Moscow in the KHL and grandson of Hall of Famer Victor Tsyplakov, has never been drafted into the NHL and has played with Spartak Moscow since 2017. Although Tsyplakov hasn’t previously excelled offensively, his performance in the 2023-24 season—scoring 31 goals and 16 assists in 65 games—marks a significant improvement from his previous high of 25 points in 2022-23.

Maple Leafs pursuing Russian forward Maxim Tsyplakov: Who is he, what can  he bring? - The Athletic

Signing KHL players always carries risks, including their ability to adapt to North American play and the possibility that their standout seasons might be anomalies. Tsyplakov has spent his entire career in Russia, raising questions about his sudden interest in the NHL.

Is Tsyplakov eager to prove himself in the NHL, or is he looking to capitalize on his successful KHL season for a lucrative contract?

Several NHL teams are interested in Tsyplakov, notably the Maple Leafs and Bruins. The Canadiens might feel more compelled to sign him, given their rivalry with these teams.

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