3 Canadiens players who were the biggest surprises in 2023-24

The Montreal Canadiens weren’t surprising anyone this season, but their fans got to see a few players who enjoyed some surprising 2023-24 campaigns.
Montreal Canadiens v New York Rangers
Montreal Canadiens v New York Rangers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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A few teams enjoyed surprising seasons in 2023-24, for better or for worse, but the Montreal Canadiens weren’t one of them. Some teams, like the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals, outplayed expectations, while others, like the Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils, disappointed their respective fan bases. 

But that doesn’t mean there weren’t quite a few Canadiens players surprising their fans. One of whom was newcomer Alex Newhook, who in his first 53 games with the Habs, put up 33 points and 14 goals. But his points per game is a career-high, and if you take his numbers and tweak them to an 82-game pace, they would sit between 51 and 52 points and between 21 and 22 goals. 

During his days with the Colorado Avalanche, Newhook never accumulated over 0.464 points per game, still a far cry from the 0.622 he’s currently sitting at. But it isn’t just points that he’s excelled in; Newhook has dramatically improved in the faceoff dot with a 46.7 faceoff win percentage, which sits over five percent higher than what he ended with last year. 

Alex Newhook is one of a few surprising Canadiens players in 2023-24

With Newhook in town, the Canadiens also found an excellent player for their power play. Sure, their man advantage is something they will need to find a few more pieces to, but they may have found a keeper in Newhook, who through 164.3 minutes at 5-on-4, has been on the ice for 16 goals. 

As much as Newhook may have surprised fans with an increased role this season that should continue into 2024-25 and beyond, he wasn’t one of the top three players in Montreal who surprised us. In the following slides, you’ll meet one forward, a goaltender, and a blueliner whose respective seasons more than met expectations.