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As part of NHL.com’s 32 in 32 series, the fantasy hockey staff identifies relevant players from the Montreal Canadiens. For more coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy and subscribe for free to the “NHL Fantasy on Ice” podcast.
MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: Top 250 rankings
NOTES: These fantasy projections (for 82-game season), a collaborative effort by Pete Jensen and Anna Dua, have been quantified based on factors including but not limited to past performance in the regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs, projected line combinations, power-play usage, team goalie situations, injury history or concern, sleeper upside, anticipated regression or bounce-back candidacy, age, contract status and overall upside for this season. The below totals are safe estimates and do not necessarily indicate each player’s ceiling or floor and should be used as a basis for decision-making in all fantasy leagues. Players are listed below in order of NHL.com top 250 rank.
[Canadiens 32 in 32: Season preview | 3 Questions | Top prospects]
Cole Caufield, LW/RW — He led Montreal in goals (23) and shots on goal (188) and had their second-most points (43 in 67 games) as a rookie last season. Caufield, who started last season slow but finished strong (35 points in final 37 games) after the Canadiens replaced coach Dominique Ducharme with Martin St. Louis, should be considered a fringe top 100 fantasy player this season with 40-goal upside and is among the 30 best options in keeper and dynasty leagues.
NHL.com point projection for Caufield: 55
Video: FLA@MTL: Caufield records 1st career NHL hat trick
Nick Suzuki, C — He led the Canadiens in points (NHL career-high 61 in 82 games), points per game (0.74), even-strength points (38) and power-play points (20) last season. He has become a workhorse No. 1 center (ranked 14th among NHL forwards with 20:31 of ice time per game), thrived on a line with Caufield down the stretch (34 points in final 37 games), and could be a fantasy bargain based on average draft position if available anytime outside the top 120 overall.
NHL.com point projection for Suzuki: 60
Juraj Slafkovsky, LW — It’s unclear if Slafkovsky, the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, will play in the League this season, but he’s still a fringe top five rookie in NHL.com’s fantasy rankings and should be considered a fringe top 150 overall player with a chance to land in Montreal’s top six. Slafkovsky scored seven goals in seven games for Slovakia at the 2022 Beijing Olympics and forms a strong young core for long-term fantasy leagues with Caufield, Suzuki and center Kirby Dach (acquired by Canadiens from Chicago Blackhawks after Montreal passed on Shane Wright to draft Slafkovsky).
NHL.com point projection for Slafkovsky: 45
Kirby Dach, C/RW — He had NHL career highs in points (26 in 70 games), power-play points (six) and shots on goal (116) with the Blackhawks last season despite playing mostly in their bottom six and on the second power play. Dach, the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, is a fantasy breakout candidate after the trade to the Canadiens and should be their No. 2 center with likely exposure to a potential bounce-back right wing in either Brendan Gallagher or Josh Anderson, and potentially Slafkovsky.
NHL.com point projection for Dach: 42
Other MTL players to consider in fantasy: Brendan Gallagher, RW; Mike Matheson, D; Jake Allen, G; Jordan Harris, D; Josh Anderson, RW; Evgenii Dadonov, LW/RW
Injured player: Carey Price, G
Listen: NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast
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