Montreal Canadiens 5th Overall History Part 2: Ray Martyniuk

The Montreal Canadiens recieved the 5th overall pick this year, for the 8th time in their long and storied franchise. So for the summer months we are going to go over all the past 5th overall picks, from Bouchard to Reinbacher.
1992 Patrick Roy
1992 Patrick Roy / Steve Crandall/GettyImages
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The Montreal Canadiens are selecting 5th overall in the 2024 NHL draft, and not matter who they pick, the future is more than likely very bright. Generally, the 5th overall pick turns out to be a quality NHL player, and Habs fans are hoping David Reinbacher and this year's pick will continue that trend.

Montreal's first ever fifth overall pick was Pierre Bouchard, son of former captain and legend of the Habs, Emile "Butch" Bouchard. Both players were physical, defensive defenders and won multiple Cups with the Canadiens.

Bouchard was involved in one of, if not the worst, NHL draft of all time, and was the victim of the Canadiens' blunder in the waiver draft to finish his career with the Washington Capitals. And he also had a long and storied career as a colour commentator for the Canadiens.

The next year, the Canadiens selected goalie Phil Myre 5th overall. Myre was a good goalie, but unfortunately came into the Montreal Canadiens franchise at the worst time and came up against the hardest competition possible, Ken Dryden.

Ken Dryden
Bruce Bennett Collection / Robert Shaver/Bruce Bennett Collection/GettyImages

And spoilers, this won't be the first time Dryden will come up again.

Despite this, Myre does have a Stanley Cup ring, despite his name not being on the mug, and was part of some historic streaks. He broke the Canadiens' unbeaten streak at 28, and was part of the record breaking Philadelphia Flyers unbeaten streak. A record that still stands today in all of North American sports.

It would be a few years until the Montreal Canadiens would draft at 5th overall again, and that would be the 1970 draft, where the Habs picked the goalie from the Flin Flan Bombers, Ray Martyniuk.

Its hard to look at the draft class and not be a little disappointed in what the pick became. Martyniuk was the only player taken in the first round to not play an NHL game. Gilbert Perreault was a home run at first overall for the Buffalo Sabres, but it hurts to see Darryl Sittler selected by Toronto just three spots later.

Even for goalies, way down in the 5th round, the Los Angeles Kings selected Bobby Smith, who would go on to backstop the New York Islanders during their dynasty of the 1980s.

Although at the time, it would be difficult to be angry with the selection. Before being drafted, Martyniuk was named the WHL goaltender of the year twice in a row. Although this was still a risk, with Martyniuk being the second highest draft selection of a goalie at the time, behind Michel Plasse, drafted first overall in 1968 by the Canadiens.

And then, of course, Ken Dryden happened, and there wasn't much room in anyone's minds for a different goalie. And thus Martyniuk began his hopping from minor league team to minor league team.