The Habs added some defensive depth on Wednesday, announcing the acquisition of Nicolas Beaudin from Chicago in exchange for forward Cam Hillis.
The 23-year-old Beaudin was the 23rd-overall pick back in 2018 by the Blackhawks after being a prominent producer with Drummondville of the QMJHL. However, his development has largely stagnated as he has played just 22 career NHL contests and spent most of last year in the minors with AHL Rockford, picking up 16 points in 66 games.
Beaudin is in the final season of his entry-level deal but had to pass through waivers at the beginning of training camp. That wasn’t an issue given how last season went and he has played in three games with the IceHogs this year, picking up an assist. He’ll report to Laval in the coming days.
As for Hillis, he has battled some injury trouble since being drafted 66th overall in 2018. He got into one game with the Habs last season when they were using every single available skater when half the team was injured or in COVID protocol but he spent most of last year with Trois-Rivieres of the ECHL. He was one of the first cuts from Laval’s training camp this year and it was clear that he didn’t have much of a future with Montreal. He’s also in the last year of his entry-level deal and wasn’t going to get a qualifying offer so both players get a change of scenery to see if they can improve in a new environment.
There is also a minor league component to this trade as Laval acquired forward Riley McKay from Rockford in exchange for future considerations and assigned him to Trois-Rivieres where he’ll take Hillis’ spot in the lineup.
In other news Wednesday, Corey Schueneman was sent down to Laval. Joel Edmundson is accompanying the Habs on their road trip and it appears he’s close to being cleared to return.