Montreal Canadiens 5th Overall Pick History Part 6: Carey Price

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 one and only Carey Price.
2005 National Hockey League Draft
2005 National Hockey League Draft / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The Face of the Franchise

What can be said about Carey Price that isn't just that he was the best player for the Canadiens for a generation, and was the best goalie in the entire league.

Hindsight is 20/20, but I can't think of a better person to be so wrong about Carey Price than Pierre McGuire. This is from the guy that was part of the team that went way off the board with Tyler Boucher.

But he kind of did have a point. Jose Theodore had been a great goalie for the Canadiens, and had won the Vezina trophy a couple of years ago. And, stop me if you heard this one before, the team down the centre was weak.

But the Canadiens let Price grow in the minors, and he immediately made a huge impact right away. In his first season in the AHL, Price came up right at the end of the season, played two games and then led the team to win the Memorial Cup and winning the playoffs MVP.

The next season, Price played over 40 games in the NHL, and never looked back. Outside of Jaroslav Halak going insane in one playoff, Price had never relinquished the crease.

He was always great, but 2014-15 was a different beast. Price had, arguably the greatest season a goalie has ever had. In 66 games, Price won 44 games with a 1.96 goals against average and 0.933 save percentage. He won the Ted Lindsay, William M. Jennings, Vezina and Hart trophies, the first time a player had ever done that.

Carey Price
2015 NHL Awards - Press Room / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

But Price had a very consistent career, only reaching a goals against average above 3 and a save percentage under 0.900. There were only two things that kept Price from reaching the ultimate prize.

#1 was definitely the injuries. In 2015-16, Price only played 12 games, and the team fell off a cliff. And then there was the 2014-15 playoffs, and one breakaway chance by Chris Kreider gone wrong, and Price and the Canadiens were knocked out of the playoffs in the Eastern Final.

#2 was the team in front of him. The Canadiens during this time really struggled to put the puck in the net, and it really hurt the team, especially in the pllayoffs. Max Pacioretty was as steady as clockwork, but he was not near enough. The Canadiens generally had solid defense with P.K. Subban, Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges, but when you are playing 2-1 hockey games, you are walking a tightrope.

And, sadly, Price left everything on the ice during the Canadiens 2021, and it wasn't enough as the Canadiens fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Finals. It would be the closest Price would ever get to the Stanley Cup as a player.

Carey Price did try to return, playing a few games the next year, but there weren't many. His final game as of right now, and it looks like of his career at this point, was a fantastic 10-2 win over the Florida Panthers, right after the legendary #10 Guy Lafleur had passed away.

And lately, Carey Price was on stage to announce the next fifth overall pick for the Canadiens, in the weirdest way possible: David Reinbacher.