Five X-Factors For The 2024-25 Montreal Canadiens

Kirby Dach and Kaiden Guhle would be the two honourable mentions; as they are on the cusp of being as impactful as the five players mentioned. But leaving them off the list, speaks to the make up of the Habs roster.

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs
Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs / Claus Andersen/GettyImages
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There is no secret that the Montreal Canadiens will have higher expectations for themselves next year than they did this year.

A few more players will join the fold, and the ones that are already here will have another season under their belts. Jayden Struble will have his rookie season behind him, with hopes to raise his game to another level. Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris and Arber Xhekaj will also look to take their games up a notch, or at the very least further solidify themselves as impactful NHL defensemen.

Up front, aside from the top line, there hasn't been a whole lot of run support, which leaves the offence sputtering when the 14-22-20 aren't performing. Thankfully the defence has chipped in some support, with a goal here and there and some timely passes. Jake Evans and Joel Armia have also played quite well, but the need for goal support is blatantly obvious.

There are the odd defensive lapses, which is expected with three of the six defenders on most nights having under 240 games of NHL experience under their belts. Goaltending has also been relatively reliable, especially since Jake Allen was traded to the New Jersey Devils. That is an area that should improve next year, with the young defenders growing a bit more over the offseason and having the experience from the 2023-24 season to build upon.

Not to mention the return of Kirby Dach to the lineup, will solidify the Canadiens top six depth down the middle. He will need a little time to adjust to the pace and find chemistry with whoever his linemates end up being. But if the Canadiens wish to take a step forward next year, he will be an essential piece to push the team to the next step up the ladder.

Some players may also push to crack the club, who currently are down in Laval or a defenseman who is currently playing in Sweden. Some players are less likely to join the fold; requiring a little more time to develop, either in the American Hockey League or in their respective leagues. But there are five players that the club will rely heavily upon next year, as much or even more than they did this year.