Canadiens Make Minor, Yet Interesting Trade With Blackhawks

The Montreal Canadiens made a minor deal earlier today. Though it was a swap of depth players, it was an interesting move nonetheless.

The Canadiens acquired Nicolas Beaudin from the Chicago Blackhawks for Cam Hillis. They are a pair of players that were once more highly regarded by their teams, but have fallen down the depth chart.

Hillis played one NHL game last season, but it came when the team was hammered with injuries and also were dealing with a locker room that was being overtaken by Covid. They didn’t even have enough players to dress a full lineup in the game that Hillis played.

This season, Hillis was not able to make the AHL roster. He was assigned to the ECHL’s Trois-Rivieres Lions to begin the season where he had two goals in three games. He was probably looking for another opportunity after being sent down to the Lions.

The centre scored nine points in 24 AHL games with the Rocket last season, and also had nine points in 14 ECHL games with the Lions.

Beaudin has been playing in the AHL with the Rockford IceHogs. The left defenceman scored 16 points in 66 games last season and has one assist in three games this season. He will join the Laval Rocket and adds some depth the organizations blue line.

The 23 year old has played 22 NHL games in his career, but will likely be expected to suit up in the minors for the Rocket. As a left defenceman, he will have to battle for ice time even at the AHL level.

Beaudin was a high scoring defenceman at the Junior level. He was over a point per game in each of his last two seasons with the Drummondville Voltigeurs and was then selected in the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft.

Though he put up a lot of points in the QMJHL, he was not able to translate that to the pro level, at least not yet. He did just turn 23 this month so it is not out of the realm of possibility that he has his best hockey in front of him. It is just the position he plays that may pin him down the depth chart.

At the NHL level, the Habs already have Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris, Arber Xhekaj and are waiting for Joel Edmundson and Mike Matheson to return from injury. In Laval, Corey Schueneman, Otto Leskinen, Mattias Norlinder and William Trudeau are already battling for ice time.

It will be interesting to how Beaudin fits into the organization’s plans. Hopefully, being closer to his hometown of Chateauguay, Quebec will bring out the best in him.

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