The Montreal Canadiens have had a miserable season, but it will allow them to pick pretty early in the 2022 NHL Draft. With the NHL Draft Lottery coming up on May 10, all eyes will be on the Canadiens to see if they’re going to be able to pick high enough to draft a high-impact player for years to come.
As it stands right now, the Canadiens sit 2nd to last with 51 points in 77 games played, meaning they can only earn a maximum of 10 more points over the next five games. Their most recent loss to the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night has now assured the Canadiens of a bottom-four finish, as the Canadiens can earn a maximum of 61 points, but would finish below the New Jersey Devils due to the ”win’ tiebreaker. For the Canadiens to pass the Chicago Blackhawks, they would need to win every single game from here on out, while the Blackhawks themselves would have to lose every game.
The Montreal Canadiens have slowly begun to distance themselves from the Seattle Kraken, who have won two games in a row over the last week. Their next game is against the Philadelphia Flyers, a battle between two bottom-five teams in the NHL. Should the Montreal Canadiens lose a seventh straight game against the Flyers on Thursday night, it woud push the Flyers to 59 points, and out of reach for the Canadiens.
At this junction in the season, the fans, the players and the management group are all exhausted from the rollercoaster season; but there is certainly a major consolation prize waiting for them. The Canadiens play their last four games of the season in 6 days, facing the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins in a back-to-back, and then ending out their final week with the New York Rangers and Florida Panthers.
Should the Canadiens break even over the next five games (meaning a .500 record), they would end the season with 22 wins and 56 points, ensuring they finish 31st in the NHL. That would guarantee them a top-4 pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, set to take place in Montreal on July 7 and 8. The Montreal Canadiens would likely be able to pick one of Shane Wright, Logan Cooley, Simon Nemec and Juraj Slafkovsky, who are seen as the best young players of this crop of rapidly developing youngsters.
The Canadiens and their fans have gone through a lot of hardship over the last few months, but there will be a lot to be excited about very soon. The Canadiens will soon ensure their ability to select a high-end player to join the team’s future core with Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki down the road, continuing to add to what will surely become a young and exciting offensive team.