The king of the U24 Habs player rankings - Nick Suzuki

Captain Nick Suzuki led the team in points, was healthy all year and further established himself as the Habs' number one centre. All while mentoring Juraj Slafkovsky and helping Cole Caufield through a slump.
Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens
Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

For the month of May, aside from the NHL Draft lottery, there isn’t much going on. So here at A Winning Habit, I’ve decided to rank the 24 best Canadiens under 24 years old. I opted to rank players that are closest to the NHL, so aside from David Reinbacher, there are no 2023 Draftees. 

So, without further ado, let’s go ahead with the 2nd best player, in my opinion, Nick Suzuki.

Nick Suzuki was acquired from the Vegas Golden Knights as part of a package that sent Max Pacioretty the other way. While Vegas has had a ton of success and managed to bring in Jack Eichel, it's hard to imagine they aren't a little sour. Suzuki is still developing, but anybody who has the chops to captain an Original Six team sounds like a pretty big loss to me.

Suzuki will age out for the top 24 players under 24 list, but if he wasn't going to, there should be little debate who would be number one next year. Suzuki was five points short of posting his first point-per-game season of his career. With 77 points in 82 games, Suzuki reached a career-high in goals (33), assists (44) and, of course points.

His offensive production was impressive, but the maturity and poise that he carries himself with game after game is what allows him to stand out. His plus-minus of (-14) doesn't tell the story of how strong his two-way game is. It's more reflective of the team as a whole, which is very normal for a team trying to find their way.

While Suzuki will go out as the top dog in his final year of eligibility for the under-24 list, I don't think we have seen the best that he has to offer yet. With his linemates both a year older and gaining confidence from their career years, Suzuki will have some great bandmates to help him reach another tier. This list may be without him next year, but many of the players that will occupy the list will benefit from Suzuki's mentorship and the way he leads by example.