After picking up Jordan Nolan on waivers, the Buffalo Sabres have decided that they no longer have as much need for Nicolas Deslauriers, shipping him off to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for defenseman Zach Redmond. Montreal has already announced that Deslauriers will be assigned to the Laval Rocket of the AHL.
Deslauriers has filled a fourth-line role with the Sabres for parts of the last four seasons, registering just 30 points in 211 games. His high-energy style is certainly effective, as he’s also racked up 627 hits during that time. Still, the complete lack of offensive upside is disappointing for a player that was once an 18-goal man in the AHL, and does possess a good shot when he gets around to using it. For the Canadiens, he will offer little more than a depth option should they face injury.
Redmond on the other hand is a 29-year old defenseman who is now on his fourth NHL team. The journeyman was actually originally drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers, before making his NHL debut with Winnipeg a few years later. In 130 career games, Redmond has registered 38 points and has continually shown a knack for scoring at the AHL level.
A big enough body that can play both ends of the rink, he doesn’t possess the upside of a full-time NHL defender and will likely serve as a veteran addition to a Rochester Americans club that has seen renewed interest from the front office. New GM Jason Botterill has said he wanted to create an atmosphere of winning in the minor leagues, and Redmond certainly can help with that. In 35 career AHL playoff games, he has 19 points.
I like Redmond but untimely injuries killed any chance he had at a regular NHL spot, not just with Montreal either. I think the real addition for Montreal is opening up a regular spot in Laval for the 4 prospects they have there(Lernout, Bourque, Juulsen and Jerabek) and they already have Gelinas and Taormina as AHL/NHL vets. I doubt Deslauriers sees any time in Montreal especially since he really only offers physicality and is pretty bad defensively.