Montreal Canadiens: The Many Candidates to Form an Elite Line with Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield

May 27, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Montreal Canadiens Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
May 27, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Montreal Canadiens Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Montreal Canadiens appear to be headed into a busy offseason in the coming weeks.

They have just six games left to play this season and all that is left to sort out is whether they finish 32nd or 30th overall in the final standings.

Once that is figured out, the new management team is going to be quite busy building this organization for the future.

Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes were hired as the team’s new Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations and General Manager because the team had bottomed out. Marc Bergevin was fired and the newcomers arrived to try and build this team into a contender once again.

Though the current Canadiens have sunk to the bottom of the standings, there are some key building blocks in place.

Most importantly, the team already has two-thirds of an elite first line. Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield have been two of the few bright spots in the 2021-22 season, and have given fans something to be excited about and to cheer for in the second half of a lost season.

Since new head coach Martin St. Louis took over, both forwards have 30 points in 31 games. They are clearly first line talents and since Suzuki is 22 years old and Caufield is 21, they are just showing us the tip of the iceberg in their NHL careers.

What they need is a third piece on that line. When the Habs find another winger to lock in next to Suzuki and Caufield they are going to have a dangerous trio will provide offence every night.

The best teams in the league these days lean on their first line heavily. Everyone likes to talk about depth and rolling four lines, but when the rubber hits the road, the Colorado Avalanche put Nathan MacKinnon with Mikko Rantanen and Gabe Landeskog.

The Boston Bruins always go back to the Perfection line of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand. The Toronto Maple Leafs found a winning combination with Auston Matthews between Mitch Marner and Michael Bunting.

The Carolina Hurricanes have used Sebastien Aho with Teuvo Teravainen and Andrei Svechnikov all year. The Tampa Bay Lightning have a great team but everyone falls in line behind Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat.

Every great team has an excellent first line. The Canadiens are not a great team this season, but they are already two-thirds of the way to an excellent first line.

Who could join Suzuki and Caufield next season to give them this elite production at the top of the depth chart?