Next up in our 2023 Fantasy Hockey Team Preview series is the Montreal Canadiens. Heading into the 2023-24 season, the Canadiens have low expectations. This is because they still have a lot of work to do in their rebuild. Although this is true, they still have players worth considering in your fantasy hockey drafts. Let’s now discuss each of them by position.
Montreal Canadiens Fantasy Hockey Preview
The best part of the Canadiens’ roster is their forward group. The Canadiens forward fantasy managers should be most interested in is Cole Caufield. Caufield had a strong 2022-23 season, posting 26 goals and 36 points in 46 games. Had it not been for injury trouble, he likely would have hit at least 40 goals and 65 points. When noting that he is only 22 years old and has a ton of potential, expect him to have an even bigger year in 2023-24.
Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki also warrants consideration for your fantasy club. The 24-year-old set new career highs in goals (26) and points (66) last season and is looking to build off it. He is also becoming an elite two-way center, so he’s a must-have in fantasy as you get in the middle rounds of the draft.
Other complementary pieces that fantasy managers should consider from the Canadiens include Kirby Dach, Juraj Slafkovsky, Alex Newhook, and Rafael Harvey-Pinard. All four of these players should take major steps forward this season. With that, Sean Monahan is a sleeper to watch.
The Canadiens’ defensive group is looking quite weak heading into the 2023-24 season. They lack a true star on their blue line, but they still have potential options to consider in the later rounds. Mike Matheson is a prime example. The 29-year-old quietly had an excellent season in 2022-23, posting eight goals and 34 points in 48 games. Replicating that kind of offense this season may be a tall ask, but it is possible. Keep in mind, that he will be playing top-pairing minutes and get power-play time.
Kaiden Guhle is another Canadiens defenseman worth considering in fantasy. He is a big breakout candidate heading into the new year, and it is easy to understand why. The 2020 first-round pick has the tools to become a top-four defenseman and will look to take a step forward in 2023-24. In 44 games last season, he had four goals and 18 points.
Two other options who warrant some consideration in bigger leagues include Justin Barron and Arber Xhekaj. However, they may be better-suited as waiver wire pickups.
When it comes to the Canadiens’ goaltenders, they are high in quantity but not in quality. Samuel Montembeault, Jake Allen, Casey DeSmith, and Cayden Primeau are not goalies whom fantasy managers should take in their drafts. There are far too many proven starters out there who are better options. However, if one or more of these goalies heat up during the regular season, they will warrant attention on the waiver wire.
Out of this quartet, the goaltender to watch is Montembeault. He took a nice step forward in 2022-23 and is expected to be the Canadiens starter because of it. It will be intriguing to see if he continues to move in a positive direction with his development this season.
Alas, the Canadiens’ roster is not the strongest when it comes to fantasy hockey, but they still do possess some good options. Caufield, Suzuki, Dach, and Matheson highlight this group.
Make sure to check out all of our Fantasy Hockey Team Previews as they roll out over the coming weeks!