Predicting the Pick: Canadiens will land a scoring machine with the No. 5 pick in the NHL Draft

The Montreal Canadiens have got to get the fifth pick right, as doing so will add yet another young player to a starpower-infused prospect pool.
All-American Game
All-American Game / Michael Miller/ISI Photos/GettyImages

So, there is a major difference between predicting the pick and rolling with who a team should pick. In my one week to go mock draft, the former was the case regarding the Montreal Canadiens and definitely not the latter. It’s not that I don’t feel Cole Eiserman is a future star, but it’s the fact there would be safer picks available if the 2024 NHL Draft played out in the same way as what I projected in my mock. 

That said, knowing general manager Kent Hughes, he likes doing things his way, even if critics will always say he should have rolled with someone else. That was definitely the case when he drafted Juraj Slafkovsky in 2022, and he also had a fair share of criticism thrown his way for drafting David Reinbacher last year. 

For these reasons, I decided on Eiserman instead of the player I wanted to pencil in, and that was Berkly Catton, who I had going to the Canadiens in Mock Draft Simulation 3.0. But how many other prospects would I have taken over Cole Eiserman? 

Very realistic chance the Canadiens pick Cole Eiserman fifth in NHL Draft

I already mentioned Berkly Catton, but he’s hardly the first player, or better yet forward, I would take over Cole Eiserman. I wouldn’t go with a defenseman at No. 5, and if you flash back to Mock Draft Simulation 2.0, I even reached for Michael Brandsegg-Nygard, who, even if I’d be more willing to see a team take him between No. 8 and No. 12, still factors in as a safer option than Eiserman. 

Konsta Helenius would be an underrated but great choice at No. 5, and I would also strongly consider Tij Iginla. That said, as the headline suggests, I’m not totally opposed to seeing the Habs take Eiserman since he’s going to score, score, and score some more when he’s in the NHL. Playing alongside Montreal’s brewing stars in the top-six would only help, but still, it’s always a major risk to roll with someone who possesses such an average game with only one elite skill going for him. 

Now, if the Habs ended up proving me wrong and taking someone else before dishing their No. 26 pick elsewhere with other assets to creep into the middle of the first round, then take Eiserman, that would be genius. But we already know how bold Kent Hughes is when with top-five selections in the NHL Draft, so fifth-overall it is.