The Habs have cleared out some more forward depth as they have shipped winger Nicolas Deslauriers to Anaheim. Montreal acquires Anaheim’s fourth-round pick in 2020 in return.
After a career year offensively in 2017-18 that saw him score ten goals in 58 games, his numbers dipped closer to his usual totals. He suited up in 48 games last season, scoring twice while adding three assists. Of course, Deslauriers wasn’t around to provide offence; instead, he served as a physical winger, chipping in with 135 hits despite averaging just ten minutes a night.
However, following the acquisitions of Jordan Weal and Nate Thompson, Deslauriers’ playing time dipped considerably down the stretch. With those two having re-signed already and the somewhat surprising decision to qualify Charles Hudon, there wasn’t really going to be a spot for Deslauriers on the roster for next season and he had been a speculative candidate to be waived in training camp. Instead, the Habs get something for him now.
The move means that Montreal’s cupboard of draft picks for 2020 increases to 12 (including the two picks they added in the Andrew Shaw trade). It also gives the Habs another $950,000 in wiggle room to work with on the salary cap plus an extra contract slot. Free agency is set to open at noon EST on Monday and it’s starting to look like Montreal could be a little more active than it looked like a short while ago.