The Canadiens finish the season with the fifth-best draft odds

Regardless of how the picks before Montreal's go, they are bound to add a very talented player to their prospect pool.
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7 / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The Montreal Canadiens ended their 2023-24 regular season on Tuesday night and with it, they have secured the fifth-best odds for the upcoming draft lottery.

Macklin Celebrini is of course the crowned jewel and given his dominance in the NCAA with the Boston University Terriers as a 17-year-old, he has left little doubt about his future. Should he choose to play in the NHL come October with the team that selects him, I doubt that anybody would bat an eye. The freshman is the consensus number one overall draft prospect for the 2024 NHL Draft and there hasn't been a player that has come anywhere close to unseating him.

The Canadiens 8.5% odds of winning the draft lottery and ultimately getting the rights to draft Celebrini are better than a kick in the pants. But it would take a very kind gesture from the hockey gods for the Habs to receive a gift like the Hobey Baker winner to help with the rebuild. But regardless of that, there are some talented prospects after him and there are many differing opinions regarding who goes where after number two.

Thankfully for the Canadiens, there are a handful of talented defenseman who will be available in the top end of the draft, that could entice a couple of top five teams to select them. Montreal's main focus is top end forward talent and the top 15 projected players feature some promising prospects. Players that are projected to go high sometimes slide and often times players who were ranked lower get picked higher.

Draft Lottery Odds

San Jose Sharks - 25.5%

Chicago Blackhawks - 13.5%

Anaheim Ducks - 11.5%

Columbus Blue Jackets - 9.5%

Montreal Canadiens - 8.5%

Decisions decisions

No decision has been taken lightly by Habs general manager Kent Hughes and that was to be expected, the team needed to be pulled in the right direction. Hughes has started that process the best way that he knows how and while there is work to be done, the Canadiens look much different and certainly improved. After two drafts, the Habs have added some promising prospects and the plan remains the same, to add the best players available and steadily push the team toward the contender's status.

2022 Draft prospects

First overall - Juraj Slafkovsky, 26 overall - Filip Mesar, 33 overall - Owen Beck, 62 overall - Lane Hutson, 75 overall - Vinzenz Rohrer, 92 overall - Adam Engstrom, 127 overall - Cedrick Guindon, 130 overall - Jared Davidson, 162 overall - Emmett Croteau, 194 overall - Petteri Nurmi, 216 overall - Miguel Tourigny.

2023 Draft prospects

Fifth overall - David Reinbacher, 69 overall - Jacob Fowler, 101 overall - Florian Xhekaj, 110 overall - Bogdan Konyushkov, 128 overall - Quentin Miller, 133 overall - Sam Harris, 144 overall - Yevgeni Volokhin, 165 overall - Filip Eriksson, 197 overall - Luke Mittedstadt.

That's a total of 20 selections over the last two drafts, five of which have been in the first two rounds of the draft. This year, the Canadiens boast their first-round selection and the one they acquired in the Sean Monahan trade with the Winnipeg Jets. It's rather unknown what Hughes' intentions are, but he certainly has the assets to make some noise.