Draft 2023: The Montreal Canadiens would get hold of top talents if the draft started today

Published December 17, 2022 at 4:02 PM

The Montreal Canadiens are currently ranked 23rd overall in the NHL.

It's clear that the club doesn't have what it takes to earn a playoff spot, and with the tough schedule ahead for the Tricolore, it's more plausible that the CH will improve their draft rankings for the upcoming draft.

The most realistic scenario is that Montreal will likely finish in the bottom third of the standings.

Still, there are many positives to be found in the learning curve of Martin St-Louis' young team this season. Young players like Cole Caufield, Nick Suzuki, the many rookie defensemen in the organization, and even Juraj Slafkovsky continue to impress.

Montreal could add more top talent to their organization in the upcoming draft, however, the more the CH loses, the higher the draft rank gets. The 2023 draft is one of the strongest in several years with Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli and Matvei Michkov leading the way. The top-10 is likely to be very interesting for the teams that will be drafting from these ranks.

The website constantly updates its list of big league teams in relation to the percentage chance of winning the lottery. As of this morning, the Habs currently have a 5% chance of getting the first pick and a 5.4% chance of getting the second pick.

Moreover, this year again, the Habs will have two first round selections to make, as Kent Hughes has the Florida Panthers' pick, which was acquired in return for Ben Chiarot last year. By the way, if the trend continues, Florida's pick could be extremely lucrative for Kent Hughes as well, as they are currently ranked 19th in the NHL.


Currently, the most realistic scenario is that the Habs would draft 9th with their own pick and 14th with the Panthers pick.

Obviously, since this year's crop is so talented, it is very difficult to predict the top-10 with certainty, as the draft could go in any direction depending on each teams needs. However, even drafting with the 9th and 14th position, the Habs could get their hands on two very talented players.

Here are the candidates for those spots, according to TSN's prospect expert Craig Button:

The Montreal organization would get Zach Benson at #9 and Gabe Perreault at #14.

Center Zach Benson is currently the leading scorer for the Winnipeg Ice in the WHL. With 18 goals and 44 points in 28 games, the dynamic forward is a very offensive player. He is very fast and is a superb puck handler with excellent vision. His hockey intelligence is really interesting.

For his part, Gabe Perreault is a hyper offensive forward who is playing this season with the U.S. National Under-18 Team. In 28 games, the forward has amassed an impressive 22 goals and 45 points. He is capable of scoring a ton of goals. For those who don't know, he is the son of Yanic Perreault, a former Habs player.

Here are the candidates for those ranks, according to TSN's other prospect expert, Bob MacKenzie:

According to Bob, the Tricolore would get Dalibor Dvorsky at #9 and Otto Stenberg at #14.

What a strange coincidence, when Kent Hughes could get another Slovakian gem with the talented Dalibor Dvorsky. Many experts saw him being selected in the top-5 before the season started. Dvorsky is very talented and already has several strong qualities to make his mark quickly in the NHL. At 6'1 and 201 pounds, Dvorsky is already physically mature enough to play in North America.

In the case of Otto Stenberg, it would not be an optimal selection for the CH. The Swede is particularly disappointing this season and his candidacy is only falling. I wouldn't be surprised if in the next update of MacKenzie's list, he ends up outside the top-20 of the draft.

Credit: HabsolutelyFan
December 17   |   57 answers
Draft 2023: The Montreal Canadiens would get hold of top talents if the draft started today

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