23rd best under 24 Hab - Luke Tuch

Luke Tuch adds a nice blend of gritty, power forward and there is hope that he may have a little more to offer.
2024 Beanpot Tournament - Championship
2024 Beanpot Tournament - Championship / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

For the month of May, aside from the NHL Draft lottery there isn’t much going on. So here at A Winning Habit, I’ve decided to rank the 24 best Canadiens under 24 years old. I opted to rank players that are closest to the NHL, so aside from David Reinbacher there are no 2023 Draftees. 

So, without further ado, let’s go ahead with the 23rd best player, in my opinion, Luke Tuch. 

Tuch joined the Laval Rocket after his final season of college with the Boston University Terriers came to an end. The Terriers were touted as a favourite to go all the win in the Frozen Four tournament, but they ultimately came up short in a loss to the University of Denver in the semi-finals. Tuch, however, was one of the Terriers' best players.

Both his maturity and growth over his NCAA career were big factors in Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes signing the four-year college veteran to a two-year entry-level contract. The Rocket subsequently signed Tuch to a one-way contract, allowing him to finish the season with Laval. Although Tuch only played two games, there is much excitement around the 2020 draft prospect; because his blend of size, grit and speed are scarce in the Habs prospect pool.

If Tuch's trend of jumping up from 10 points to 20 and then to 30 during his senior year is indicative of anything; it's that he isn't finished growing. I don't expect that he will become a big scorer in Laval, nor will it be the reason, should he eventually play for the Canadiens. But if he can chip in offensively and continue to challenge the opposition with his physical, quick style.

I believe that next year, Tuch and Florian Xhekaj could form a fun duo for Rocket fans to watch together. Both players are hard-nosed and love to keep opponents on their toes with their physical brand of hockey. Though Xhekaj is certainly more of an enforcer, Tuch isn't afraid to throw his weight around and I expect that he will be challenged to show that he can handle himself.

Tuch comes in as the 23rd-ranked player because he hasn't had much time to prove himself in the AHL. But once he does, he should climb up this list; the 22-year-old still has some time to go before he hits his prime. Two other guys in these ranks made the jump from the NCAA to the professional ranks and I expect that Tuch will be another example of why NCAA prospects are a smart choice to draft.