3 reasons the fifth pick in the 2024 NHL Draft will further transform the Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens received good news following the 2024 NHL Draft Lottery, as they will hold the No. 5 pick.
Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens
Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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The selection may realistically speed up the Canadiens rebuild

One of the biggest advantages of having such an early pick in the draft is that some of these prospects could see the NHL ice as soon as this season. Not everyone, as 99.9 percent of them will return to college, others will play in college for the first time, and yet others have commitments with their respective teams in other countries. 

But I like using someone like Zach Benson of the Buffalo Sabres as an example. Benson may have gone 13th overall, but he also fell from what should have been a top-10 or even a top-five pick last June, and he finished playing his first season this year.

There are junior hockey players like Cayden Lindstrom and Zayne Parekh, who could also get drafted, sign, compete in camp, and make their way onto the big club. Plus, there are also college players like Artyom Levshunov and Zeev Buium who could forgo their remaining eligibility in the near future, sign, play well in Laval, and find themselves in the NHL before they know it. 

This isn’t saying the Habs first-round pick will see playing time in Montreal this season or even in Laval, which can only occur under special circumstances for CHL players under age 20. But it is outlining that top-five picks have a much greater probability of seeing professional ice before their peers, and perhaps even thriving early in their respective careers, as we’re seeing from Juraj Slafkovsky these days in the NHL and David Reinbacher in the AHL.