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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Mike Matheson outplayed even the wildest expectations from critics

Mike Matheson could have played his way into the top 15 for the Norris Trophy, thanks to what was an excellent year in Quebec. Like Montembeault, Matheson began his NHL career with the Florida Panthers, where he never registered over 27 points in a season. He also spent two years in Pittsburgh, where in 2021-22, he put up a career-best 31 points and 11 goals. 

Fast-forward to 2022-23, and Matheson broke his own record yet again, this time with 34 points in 48 contests. Take Matheson’s 0.708 points per game and multiply that number by 82, which gives you 58 points. Not a bad number for a blueliner who evolved his play into a decent two-way game, but his offensive output only grew in 2023-24 when he posted 62 points and 11 goals in 80 games. 

With another few days left in the regular season, Matheson could further increase his points total in what has become a career-best outing. But let’s talk about more than just his production, as Matheson also posted 178 blocks, posted over 500 minutes on special teams, and helped Montreal score an outstanding 38 goals on the man advantage. 

At 30, Matheson is still well in his prime, and it will be more than exciting to see what he will do next season if his overall numbers continue to trend north. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)