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Habs Prospects

The Montreal Canadiens Select Ben Merrill 166th Overall

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montreal canadiens draft

The Montreal Canadiens have made their seventh pick of the 2024 NHL Entry Draft, selecting Ben Merrill 166th overall.

Merrill is a 6’4″ centre who played for St. Sebastian’s School prep school last year, scoring 18 goals and 19 assists in 25 games. St. Sebastian’s happens to be the same school both of Kent Hughes’ sons played for. He’s committed to playing for the Penticton Vees next season in the BCHL, with a further commitment to play for Harvard in the NCAA the following year.

He possesses a very good shot, not to mention an active body when it comes to deceiving defenders on the rush.


Montreal Canadiens Draft Pick Information And Pre-Draft Trades

The Montreal Canadiens owned 10 draft picks heading into the 2024 NHL Draft: 5th Overall, 21st overall (via Los Angeles), 70th overall, 78th overall (via Minnesota), 102nd overall, 130th overall (via San Jose), 134th overall, 166th overall, 210th overall (via Washington) and 224th overall (via Edmonton).

Prior to the draft the team owned 12 picks, but they swung a pre-draft trade with the Los Angeles Kings to improve their draft position. Montreal exchanged the 26th overall pick (via Winnipeg), the 57th overall pick (via Colorado) and the 198th overall pick for the 21st overall pick. Seeing as the Habs already own an impressive prospect pool, as well as plenty of draft capital, it’s the type of trade that fans were hoping to see prior to the draft taking place. Simply put, it’s a matter of quality over quantity for the Canadiens, both for picks and prospects.

The team used the fifth overall pick to select a very talented forward, Ivan Demidov., considered the second-best talent available in 2024. He immediately becomes the most talented and most important player in their prospect pool, which is important seeing as the Canadiens already own one of the best prospect pools in the NHL.

They followed it up by selecting USHL standout Michael Hage, a well-rounded forward that should bring depth, intelligence, and speed to their transition game.

Any way you cut it, the Habs enjoyed a rather successful first round at the 2024 NHL Entry Draft.

If you would like to learn more about the state of the Montreal Canadiens rebuild we invite you to take a look at our ‘State Of The Rebuild‘ series which was published following the conclusion of the 2023-24 season.

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Tyrone

I imagine everyone we select in these later rounds will be either from overseas or heading off to college so they can stew for a while before we have to make any decisions about whether to sign them or let them walk. It gives them the longest chance to develop and mature before we have to decide whether we want to keep them or not.