In their second trade of the day, the Montreal Canadiens have dealt two-way forward Nicolas Deslauriers to the Anaheim Ducks, the team announced. In return, the Habs have acquired Anaheim’s 2020 fourth-round pick. This is yet another salary dump for Montreal, as they free up cap space ahead of the opening of free agency on Monday.
In Deslauriers, the Ducks land an affordable and effective bottom-six option. The 28-year-old Deslauriers has shown modest offense at times, albeit inconsistently, but his real value comes in his physicality and ability to create turnovers and win puck battles. Although Anaheim has great depth up front in regards to a number of pro-ready prospects, Deslauriers is the type of experienced, gritty forward who can help to protect the young offensive talent. At $950K, he hardly makes a dent in the salary cap to provide an underappreciated but critical service.
It is somewhat of a surprise that the Canadiens moved the Quebec native, but Montreal is clearly gearing up to spend money on a major addition this off-season. On top of that, they continue to stockpile 2020 draft picks for a draft that they are hosting. The Ducks’ fourth-rounder makes it 12 selections for Montreal next year, eight of which come in the first four rounds. This is thus another deal that plays into a bigger plan for the Habs.