Who the Montreal Canadiens Should Draft at Each Pick

With the 2024 NHL Draft Lottery set to take place on Tuesday, May 7, the Canadiens will have to plan accordingly relative to where they end up on the draft board.
Tij Iginla, Kelowna Rockets
Tij Iginla, Kelowna Rockets / Dale Preston/GettyImages

1. 1st Overall - Macklin Celebrini

Macklin Celebrini
Macklin Celebrini, 2024 Hobey Baker Award Winner / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

Celebrini was Canada's leading scorer at the 2024 World Junior Championship.

This is an obvious choice. The 2024 Hobey Baker winner will almost certainly step right into NHL action no matter where he lands to begin the 2024-25 season. The 17-year-old Vancouver native scored 64 points in 38 games to become the prestigious college hockey award's youngest winner.

2. Picks 2-4 - Ivan Demidov/Cayden Lindstrom

SKA Hockey Club player, Ivan Demidov (11) seen in action...
Ivan Demidov, SKA Hockey Club / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Demidov ranks second in Craig Button and EliteProspects' draft rankings, and third by NHL Central Scouting.

Demidov scored a ridiculous 60 points in 30 MHL games, Russia's top junior league. He later added 28 points in 17 playoff games and is projected to be taken second overall in most draft rankings. Despite injury troubles this season, he managed to suit up in four KHL games and will look to bolster a struggling squad's offence.

Should the Canadiens' pick fall at no. 3 or 4, assuming Demidov is taken second overall, look for Cayden Lindstrom to be the next player off the board. The lack of need for defensemen given their deep defensive group emphasizes the need for another scoring forward, and Lindstrom perfectly fits the bill. Despite also being sidelined for a chunk of the season due to injury, the six-foot-four forward scored 27 goals in 32 games for the Medicine Hat Tigers.

3. Picks 5-7 - Berkly Catton/Tij Iginla

Berkly Catton
Berkly Catton, Spokane Chiefs / Jonathan Kozub/GettyImages

Berkly Catton had the third-most productive age-17 season in the WHL since 2000, behind Connor Bedard and Nic Petan.

Catton scored an astounding 116 points in the WHL this season, which led all draft-eligible skaters across Canadian junior hockey. The 17-year-old is a speed demon and possesses great spatial awareness and puck control.

While Habs fans should be happy if the team selects Catton at fifth overall or later, another player who has soared high on many draft rankings is Tij Iginla, son of Calgary Flames legend Jarome. He scored 47 goals (sixth in the WHL and first among draft-eligible players) in 64 games for the Kelowna Rockets. He added another nine in just 11 playoff games, perhaps being the most improved player of this draft class after scoring just six goals and 18 points with the Seattle Thunderbirds in 2022-23. He possesses strong edgework and low center of gravity in addition to a knack for goal-scoring -- much like his father.

Overall, it seems apparent that Kent Hughes and company will do their due diligence when drafting their first player this season, and have been blessed with a plethora of high-quality forwards to add to their offense.

- An early look at the Canadiens' biggest needs for the 2024 NHL draft

(Statistics provided by HockeyDB)