Montreal Canadiens 2017 Draft Class: Cayden Primeau Emerges As Best Selection

The Canadiens had an underwhelming draft class, but the Vegas Golden Knights selected Nick Suzuki with the 13th overall selection.
Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens
Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

It's officially draft month! For June, we will look back at some of the draft classes to see how the Habs front offices of the past did with their selections. It's too early to examine some of Kent Hughes' first few draft classes. The 2017 class will be the subject of our fifth look at the history.

The 2017 NHL Entry Draft was held in Chicago, Illinois. It had a lot of high-end talent, as Nico Hischier, Nolan Patrick, and Miro Heiskanen went top-three. The Montreal Canadiens had a late pick in the first round, and most of their selections didn't pan out. However, the most important selection in this draft for the Habs was the 13th overall pick. The Vegas Golden Knights acquired the 13th selection from the Winnipeg Jets and took Habs captain Nick Suzuki.

Let's look at the Canadiens' seven selections.

Round 1

Ryan Poehling
2017 NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

25th Overall - Ryan Poehling

It took a while for Poehling to leave St. Cloud State, as he stuck with them until the end of the 2019 season. Poehling signed with the Canadiens on March 31, 2019 and arrived with a vengeance in the final game of the season against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Poehling scored a hat trick then the shootout winner.

Poehling had just two points in 27 games the following season, splitting his time between Montreal and Laval. He played 28 games in the COVID-shortened 2020-21 season, before a season-ending wrist injury hurt his chances at playing with the team during the 2021 Stanley Cup Final run.

Poehlins spent most of the 2021-22 season with the Penguins but was packaged with Jeff Petry in the trade to Pittsburgh to acquire Mike Matheson.

Round 2

Josh Brook
Josh Brook / Marissa Baecker/GettyImages

56th Overall - Josh Brook

Brook played parts of four seasons with the Laval Rocket. He played just 12 games in the 2021-22 season, split between Laval and Trois-Rivieres. He joined the Calgary Wranglers for 13 games in 2022-23 but went to Europe to play with Lukko in the Finnish Liiga in 2023-24. Brook is signed with Dinamo Minsk in the KHL for 2024-25.

58th Overall - Joni Ikonen

Ikonen never came to North America after getting drafted by the Canadiens in 2017. He played ten games with Frolunda that season but joined KalPa in Liiga for the 2017-18 season. Ikonen appeared in 144 Liiga games, recording 20 goals and 37 assists.

Round 3

Cale Fleury
Cale Fleury draft / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

68th Overall - Scott Walford

Walford didn't sign with the Canadiens after his WHL career ended, deciding instead to attend McGill University in USports. Walford had 55 points in 59 career games with McGill and signed an Amateur Tryout Contract with the Syracuse Crunch this past season. Walford appeared in five games with Syracuse, failing to record a point.

87th Overall - Cale Fleury

Fleury signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Canadiens before the 2018 season. He played his first professional season with the Laval Rocket, recording 23 points in 60 games. He appeared in 41 games with the Canadiens but returned to Laval for the entirety of the 2020-21 season. The Seattle Kraken selected Fleury from the Canadiens in the 2021 Expansion Draft, reuniting him with his brother, Haydn.

Round 5

Cayden Primeau
cayden primeau draft / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

149th Overall - Jarret Tyszka

Tyszka is another player who opted to play in USports after his junior career ended. Tyszka spent the entirety of his WHL career with Seattle, then attended the University of British Columbia for the next three seasons. He hasn't been active since the 2021-22 season.

199th Overall - Cayden Primeau

The son of former NHLer Keith Primeau was an afterthought for the Canadiens in the seventh round. He starred with Northeastern University then signed with the Canadiens after his sophomore season. Primeau played parts of four seasons with the Canadiens, recording a 3.46 goals-against average and a .894 save percentage, but became their full-time backup to Sam Montembeault in 2023-24.