Laurent Dauphin is on the move again, but this time it is much closer to home. The Nashville Predators forward has been traded to the Montreal Canadiens, the fourth trade of his young career. Dauphin is on a one-year two-way contract, signed last February with the Predators after they acquired him from the Arizona Coyotes. The Predators will receive Michael McCarron in return.
Originally selected by the Coyotes in the second round in 2013, Dauphin was first dealt to the Chicago Blackhawks as part of the Niklas Hjalmarsson trade. Then, just seven months later, he was sent back to Arizona as part of a swap that saw Richard Panik and Anthony Duclair switch teams. Through all of that he has only ever played in the NHL for the Coyotes, suiting up for 35 total games over parts of four seasons.
That lack of experience, plus the fact that Dauphin will turn 25 in March, likely means he’s ticketed for assignment to the Laval Rocket. He cleared waivers before the season began and can be sent directly to the AHL, where he’ll give the team another option at forward.
They’ll need it as the Canadiens organization finally moves on from McCarron after several years of frustration. The 25th overall pick in 2013, McCarron never did grow into an NHL talent even though his 6’6″ frame suggested he would be able to hold down a fourth line role at least. In 69 NHL contests he’s recorded just eight points but 110 penalty minutes, not exactly an ideal mix in today’s league.
Both players will see their contracts expire at the end of the year, and will actually become Group VI unrestricted free agents (unless McCarron finds a regular role in Nashville’s lineup). At this point, a deal of this nature is just a fresh start and a new fit.