After acquiring Nicolas Deslauriers earlier in the day, the Habs made another trade on Wednesday, dealing winger Andreas Martinsen to Chicago in exchange for winger Kyle Baun.
Baun signed with Chicago as one of the more coveted college free agents back in 2015 but has yet to make much of a mark at the NHL level, appearing in just five games in total and none last season. In 2016-17, he played in 74 games with their AHL affiliate in Rockford, tallying 14 goals and 20 assists, a considerable improvement over the nine points (1-8-9) he had in 43 AHL contests the year before.
As for Martinsen, he was acquired from Colorado back at the trade deadline last season but didn’t see too much action in Montreal. Between the two teams, he had three goals and four assists in 64 games in 2016-17 while being held off the scoresheet in a pair of playoff matches against the Rangers. The Habs had seen enough of him to sign him to a one-year, $675,000 contract back in June, stopping him from hitting unrestricted free agency.
Both players recently cleared waivers with Martinsen going unclaimed on Tuesday while Baun cleared back on September 23rd.
The earlier acquisition of Deslauriers pretty much sealed Martinsen’s fate. Not only did he have competition for a depth spot in the lineup up front, both players also have AHL veteran status so they’d have been going up against each other for playing time as Laval is over the limit. This trade alleviates that as Baun isn’t eligible for veteran status and should slot in as a quality middle-six winger with the Rocket.
Although Baun is just 25, he will almost assuredly qualify for unrestricted free agency next summer as a Group VI player. Any skater with three or more years of pro experience (this will be year three for Baun) and less than 80 NHL games played can become an unrestricted free agent so unless Baun plays in 75 NHL games this season (which is extremely unlikely), he’ll qualify to hit the open market. He’s earning $650,000 this season on a one-way deal with a cap hit of $625,000.