The Montreal Canadiens are working through a rebuild as the 2023-24 NHL season approaches. This became all too apparent last season when four rookies found themselves on the opening night roster. But it's also seen in the types of moves they've made in the last two offseasons.

At the 2022 NHL Draft, the Canadiens made an interesting trade with the Chicago Blackhawks. Montreal acquired young center Kirby Dach from Chicago in exchange for a first-round pick previously received from the New York Islanders and a third-round pick in that draft.

Ahead of the NHL Draft this summer, the Habs made another trade of that ilk. This time, Montreal picked up forward Alex Newhook from the Colorado Avalanche. In exchange, the Avs acquired Gianni Fairbrother, a first-round pick previously owned by the Florida Panthers, and a second-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.

It's clear that the Canadiens are valuing youth. How well they do in 2023-24 depends on how their younger players develop. And with this in mind, here are three bold predictions for the Montreal Canadiens ahead of the 2023-24 NHL season.

Dach hits 60

Kirby Dach's first season in the historic hockey market of Montreal was a career-best. He reached double digits in goals, finding the back of the net 14 times. He also set a career-high in points with 38. This is a rather promising sign if you're the Canadiens. And his uptick in production should continue in a major way this upcoming season.

Dach is likely to see time on the second line this season. He should line up between Rafael Harvey-Pinard and Juraj Slafkovsky. He should also see time on Montreal's top power-play unit. There, he'll line up with the likes of Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield.

The point there is that Dach should have no issue with opportunity. He should receive more than enough ice time to allow him to put points on the board. And this season, I believe the 22-year-old former third overall pick will score at least 60 points. A season like that should definitely inspire confidence in Habs fans and staff alike.

Caufield flirts with 40

Cole Caufield emerged as one of the bright spots for the Canadiens last season. And it's not hard to see why. He scored 26 goals and 36 points in 46 games. Unfortunately, his season ended prematurely due to injury. But fear not, Habs fans, Caufield should be just fine.

Caufield will skate on both the top even strength line as well as the top power play line. He will regularly play with Suzuki while skating with Dach on the man advantage. And you can't discount Sean Monahan, who could certainly bounce back if things fall his way.

Caufield could have scored 40 goals last season had he remained healthy. This season, I expect the 22-year-old Wisconsin native to remain healthy. And as a result, he should find himself around that 40-goal mark in 2023-24.

Canadiens close the gap

The Montreal Canadiens finished the 2022-23 season with 68 points. This saw them finish dead last in the Atlantic Division. In seventh place, the Detroit Red Wings finished the season with 80 points. A 12-point gap between last place and second to last.

The Atlantic Division figures to continue being one of the toughest divisions in the NHL. Some teams could take a step back. For example, the Boston Bruins are almost certain to fall back to Earth after their historic season in 2022-23. But others figure to take major leaps this upcoming year.

Montreal should see improvement this upcoming season. Now, this likely won't help them finish above last in the Atlantic. The Habs just aren't there quite yet. That said, the Canadiens should close the gap between last and second to last. And that should give them confidence that 2024-25 sees them climb out of the cellar.