Montreal Canadiens 5th Overall Pick History Part 5: Petr Svoboda

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. This time we are looking at the Habs' first pick in the 1984 draft, Petr Svoboda
Montreal Canadiens v Washington Capitals
Montreal Canadiens v Washington Capitals / Mitchell Layton/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.

A year later, the Canadiens selected Phil Myre at 5th overall. He played one season in Montreal and won the Stanley Cup, before being pushed out by Ken Dryden. But Myre was still part of the longest unbeaten streak in all North American sports with the Philadelphia Flyers.

A few years later, the Canadiens took another goalie at 5th overall, Ray Martyniuk. Martyniuk was also blocked by Ken Dryden from making the Canadiens, and never played an NHL game. He finished a long minor league career by throwing his goalie equipment in a lake after a loss in British Columbia.

Four years later, the Canadiens drafted forward Cam Connor. Unfortunately, the WHA's Phoenix Roadrunners also drafted him and signed him first. Connor played a few good years in the WHA, including with the Houston Aeros and the Howes. After the WHA folded, Connor played one year with the Habs, and then got to play with Wayne Gretzky in his first NHL season.

It would be a full decade until the Montreal Canadiens picked fifth overall again. But, when 1984 came around, the Canadiens had a great, if top-heavy draft.

Four players that were drafted by the Canadiens this year played NHL games, all the first four picks, but all played over 1,000 NHL games. Shayne Corson was drafted 8th overall and had a solid career. Second round pick Stephane Richer had two 50+ goal seasons for the Canadiens, and in the third round, the Canadiens took a flyer on a goalie from the Q: Patrick Roy.

Patrick Roy
Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs / Graig Abel/GettyImages

The 1984 draft was a really good draft. 18 players played more than 1,000 games, and that doesn't even include the best player in the entire draft: Mario Lemieux. But the draft was heavy on both ends. The first round was quite good with Lemeiux, Kirk Muller and Gary Roberts having really good careers.

But the player with the most career played games was picked in the 9th round, Luc Robitaille. Brett Hull was selected in the 6th round and Cliff Ronning, Don Sweeney and Gary Suter went in the 7th, 8th and 9th round respectively, and all finished with over 1,000 games played.

But the Montreal Canadiens went way off the board, and surprised everyone by selecting a player from Czechoslovakia.