Montreal Canadiens: Living in a Fantasy World With the Habs

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 22: Carey Price
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 22: Carey Price /

Are you preparing for your Fantasy Draft for this season? Here are players from Montreal Canadiens you may want to pick up or avoid completely.

General Manager Marc Bergevin is using the preseason to get one last look at his players on the Montreal Canadiens before the team starts their 2017-2018 campaign in Buffalo on October 5th. Just like the Canadiens’ GM, arm-chair Managers across the continent are prepping their own teams for their fantasy drafts.

We take a look at the Montreal Canadiens fantasy-wise. Who should be a sure-fire pick, who could be a sleeper, and who should you avoid?

The Gotta Haves

Montreal Canadiens
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 18: (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Carey Price
It doesn’t matter if you’re playing in a category or points league. Whether it’s a single season league or a keeper, you just can’t go wrong with Carey Price. The netminder is coming off from a season where he won 37 games and earned a .923 save percentage. Montreal’s defense also didn’t get any younger this off-season, so it is safe to expect Price to face more shots than he did in last season.

Montreal Canadiens
MONTREAL, QC – SEPTEMBER 20: (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Jonathan Drouin
Bergevin made a big splash when he traded top defensive prospect Mikhail Sergachev for the talented French Canadian forward. In Tampa last season, Jonathan Drouin racked up a career high of 21 goals and 53 points. The Habs have already stated that they are going to try Drouin on center rather than at the wing. This means a likely pairing with Max Pacioretty, and the combined scoring prowess can lead to a deadly scoring combo for the managers that manage to snag both in their pools.

Related Story: Can Drouin Play Center?

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 22: (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 22: (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Shea Weber
The Man Mountain from BC is making his sophomore debut with the Habs this season. Shea Weber led the team in blocked shots last season with 157 and was no slouch in the hits department, racking up 140. Combine that with his 17 goals in 42 points and Weber is a player that can have incredible impact on a majority of categories.

Montreal Canadiens
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 16: (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Alex Galchenyuk
What makes Chucky an exciting possibility for fantasy GMs is the growing speculation he won’t spend all of this season in Montreal. Alex Galchenyuk signed a 3 year extension last season after scoring 17 goals and 44 points in only 61 games. The contract makes Galchenyuk a movable commodity as it doesn’t have the kind of long-term that NHL GM’s shy away from in a trade. Many teams believe Galchenyuk can be a first line center, and since he’s not getting that role in Montreal it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Habs ship him out for a piece they feel they need.

Related Story: A Different Goal Song

The Sleeper Picks

Artturi Lehkonem
After an impressive NHL debut last season that saw him earning 18 goals and 28 points, Artturi Lehkonen is looking to make a bigger impact this time around. Lehkonen managed only 13:51 minutes of ice time on average and he could see a big jump on that this year. The young winger has plenty of upside, and observant GM’s can take advantage of that in the later rounds of the draft.

Jeff Petry
Jeff Petry may be the most mobile defenseman on the team this season, and you can expect him to make an impact on both ends of the ice. Last season Petry was second on the team in blocked shots with 145 (behind Weber’s 157) and third in hits with 171. Offensively, Petry contributed 8 goals and 20 points and could see a bump in power play minutes this season.

Brendan Gallagher
Injuries are what hold Brendan Gallagher back from being a sure thing to a sleeper. When he’s healthy, Gallagher can contribute, but has seen a steady decline of total points over the past 3 seasons due to injury. Gallagher’s style of play though is very physical, and it’s that physicality the Habs brass expect out of Gallagher.

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Philip Danault
With Drouin playing center, it’s expected that Phillip Danault will drop in the depth chart to the second line this season. The reduced minutes will likely result in fewer points from the 27 he scored last campaign. However, if he can maintain chemistry with likely teammate Lehkonen, he can be a great depth center for GM’s willing to take a gamble late in the draft.

Karl Alzner
I’m sure there are some that expected Karl Alzner to be higher on this list. The free agent signing from Washington had a fairly good season with the Capitals last year. He managed 162 blocked shots and 105 hits. Just don’t expect the defenseman to score. He had a significant drop in points last season, 13 down from 21 the two seasons before. Alzner also had a dismal shooting percentage of 3.7%, but if you’re hoping for a few assists and blocked shots, there are certainly worse options out there.

Buyer Beware

Paul Byron
Last season, Paul Byron exceeded all expectations by scoring 22 goals and 43 points. It was a career high in both categories, and he played higher than average ice time as well. This year however, expect Byron to go back to his regular production as he drops down the depth chart. Don’t expect to see him on a regular spot on the first two lines unless injuries force him to be there.

Andrew Shaw
Unless you are desperate to get PIMs, Andrew Shaw doesn’t have much upside. He scored 12 goals and 29 points, which isn’t bad. But when you consider the concussions he suffered in the post season against the Rangers, it’s understandable that Shaw will be less physical this year. And if Shaw is less physical, you can expect him to be less beneficial to your fantasy squad.

Mark Streit
As excited Canadiens fans are to see Mark Streit back in the bleu, blanc et rouge, there is little advantage to taking him from a fantasy standpoint. He has declined steadily in both hits and blocked shots over the past six seasons. He is reliable for an assist here and there, but overall don’t expect much from Streit during his Stanley Cup hangover.

Next: Drouin and Bergevin Feeling the Pressure

Who will you be picking in your Fantasy Draft from the Habs? Let us know in the comments.