2024 NHL Draft Prospect: Zeev Buium Could Be Future Superstar And Canadiens Pick

  • Zeev Buium is a top five talent
  • Zeev Buium vs. Cale Makar
  • Canadiens need for forwards could keep them away
Zeev Buium (left) and his brother Shai after winning the National Championship for Denver.
Zeev Buium (left) and his brother Shai after winning the National Championship for Denver. / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

The offensive defenseman era started in the NHL, and Zeev Buium could be the next superstar on the list. The teams that drafted Quinn Hughes, Adam Fox, and Cale Makar couldn't have predicted their impact in the NHL, but the league is starting to realize that you need a player like them on your blueline. Buium has all the tools: elite skating, offensive skills, and a sneaky physical game on the back end. Buium tore apart the NCAA in a way that a draft-year defenseman has never done before, and the Canadiens are beginning to take notice.

The Left-Handed Cale Makar?

Cale Makar's fourth-overall selection came after a 75-point year in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He then went to UMass-Amherst and tallied 70 points in 75 games over two seasons. While Makar was a late bloomer, Buium hit his stride at the perfect time. He had just 17 points over 55 games with the USNTDP, but went to the University of Denver and recorded 50 points in 42 games. He also won a National Championship with Denver and helped lead the USA to World Junior gold with five points in seven games.

Buium is a winner, and despite the Canadiens' defensive depth, they have to give Buium at least a look at pick five. The Canadiens may move some of their young defensemen for scoring help in the offseason, and David Savard and Mike Matheson aren't getting any younger. There is a path where space opens up for Buium, and the prospect of him and Lane Hutson on the Canadiens' backend is intriguing.

The Canadiens are reportedly seeing the vision, as Habs draft expert Grant McCagg alluded to on social media.

What Will It Take For The Canadiens To Draft Buium?

The Canadiens will likely take the easy road and take either Cayden Lindstrom or Ivan Demidov if available at No. 5. However, sources say that Demidov and Lindstrom could go before the Habs selection, leaving them with a decision to make. I wrote an article earlier this week saying that Beckett Sennecke was gaining steam as a possible selection at No. 5. The Habs will likely be deciding between Sennecke and Buium if the draft shakes out with Demidov going to the Blackhawks and Lindstrom to the Blue Jackets.

Can the Habs risk alienating the fanbase by taking another defenseman at five this season? They controversially took David Reinbacher last season in a move that will only get worse if Matvei Michkov comes to Philadelphia and becomes an elite scorer. The fans realize the team needs scoring help, so anything less than an elite-ceiling top-six forward at this pick will cause a stir.

Would the impact of taking a defenseman be softened if the Habs traded a defenseman for help in the form of Martin Necas or Trevor Zegras?

The upside for Buium is off the charts, as you can see in the highlight reel above. He would undoubtedly be a star in Montreal, but the Habs may have to go with a forward here. The good news is that he won't haunt the Habs in the division by going to Ottawa or Buffalo, as he won't likely make it past Utah at No. 6.