3 potential steals the Canadiens must target in the NHL Draft

The Montreal Canadiens will be fun to watch during the NHL Draft, mainly because of their sheer number of mid-to-late-round picks.
2024 Kubota CHL Top Prospects Game
2024 Kubota CHL Top Prospects Game / Dale Preston/GettyImages
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Jimmy Dodig, D/Merrimack 

And finally, we got another intriguing and imposing prospect in Jimmy Dodig, who can spend another four seasons developing as he will attend Merrimack this fall to play college hockey. Much like Stepan Gorbunov, Dodig’s size is a reason he’s on here, and at 6’5, 205, he’s not as far from filling out his frame. 

He uses that size to his advantage both in landing body checks to disrupt plays and to keep opponents out of the way when he’s in front of the net. But just because he comes across as a defensive defenseman, it doesn’t mean Dodig is a one-dimensional player. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and it’s the second reason he made this list of potential steals. 

In high school, Dodig finished the 2022-23 season with 16 points and four goals in 29 games, and that doesn’t count the point-per-game pace he played at 16U. Dodig returned in 2023-24 and finished the year with six goals and 23 points in 30 games, so there is definitely potential for Dodig to develop into a two-way player throughout his time at Merrimack. 

So, if Kent Hughes spent a later round pick on Dodig, let him develop for four seasons, and give him a year in the AHL, Dodig, in a worst-case scenario, is a part-time NHL player and sound organizational depth piece. Unlike Gorbunov, who is one to take a chance with, or Blais, whose size can give him limitations, there is potential for Dodig to be a complete player. 

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(Statistics powered by Hockey-Reference and Elite Prospects)