Draft Retrospective

Draft Retrospective: How Arber Xhekaj went from undrafted OHL depth to the NHL

Arber Xhekaj isn’t the typical third-pair defenceman. 

Whether that’s his sudden rise into arguably the NHL’s toughest player, the accompanying fashion sense, his incredible story to arrive here, or the skill that means he’s likely not a bottom-pairing defenceman for long, Xhekaj demands attention.

It’s even more impressive when considering where he was just a few years ago. 

When the Montréal Canadiens signed him at the start of the 2021-22 season, he was an undrafted, third-pair OHL defenceman who had missed an entire season because of COVID cancellations. It was a contract largely based on training camp and an impressive preseason. 

It was the right call. 

Xhekaj returned to the OHL as one of the league’s top blue-liners and made the NHL the following season. 

But what came before that? Let's

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Draft Retrospective Hamilton Bulldogs Kitchener Rangers Montréal Canadiens Montréal Canadiens OHL NHL Arber Xhekaj
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