3 way too early reasons to be optimistic about the Canadiens in 2024-25

The Montreal Canadiens didn’t have much going for them over the past three years, but 2024-25 will bring a few reasons for optimism.
Apr 16, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Juraj Slafkovsky (20) celebrates
Apr 16, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Juraj Slafkovsky (20) celebrates / Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
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The Montreal Canadiens and their fans may have struggled through another rough campaign in 2023-24, but as we dive into the 2024 offseason, let’s get bold and talk about why there should be a few reasons for fans to get optimistic about this team when October arrives. 

Sure, the summer is a long one, and things can change. Players are traded, new free agents come to town, and there are always those one or two head-scratching transactions, but so far, Kent Hughes has proven himself as a capable general manager considering all the good he’s done so far. 

If that wasn’t the case, Montreal wouldn’t be getting progressively better each season. So, if you’re a Habs fan or just someone who just recently decided to follow this team, why should you be optimistic about 2024-25 before the offseason officially begins?

There’s a good chance the Canadiens top scorers completely break out

By definition, Nick Suzuki has already broken out, but what I mean by this is he has yet to hit his full potential. Suzuki joined the 70-point club this season, and his 33 goals also put him in the 30-goal club. But at such a young age, he has room to parlay that into an 80-point, 40-goal season thanks to Cole Caufield and Juraj Slafkovsky on the rise. 

What’s amazing about Caufield is that he still managed 28 goals while finding the net just 8.9 percent of the time. That’s just over half of the 16.5 shooting percentage he had in 2022-23 and 2.8 percent under his career average of 11.7 percent. If Caufield logs another 314 shots on goal and converts 11.7 percent of them in 2024-25, he’s scoring between 36 and 37 times. 

Count Juraj Slafkovsky among the Habs biggest surprises this past season, and from here, the 20-year-old could start taking over games. Sure, Suzuki and Caufield are great, and they will continue to get better, but Slafkovsky may hold more upside than the others. His 20 goals and 50 points showed us he can make leaps in production, so what will next season hold?