Canadiens acquire Drouin from Lightning for Sergachev

Posted June 16, 2017

Along with Sergachev, Tampa Bay got a conditional 2018 second-round pick and Montreal a 2018 conditional sixth-rounder.

In the wake of Thursday's news of Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathon Drouin being dealt to the Montreal Canadiens for defenseman Mikhail Sergachev, it seems the Habs are looking to make another roster move. The 22-year-old Drouin has what it takes to be a star in the National Hockey League who can produce 60-70 points each season - the Canadiens gave a lot to get him, but they clearly don't have any buyers remorse. Some Canadiens fans will no doubt be shaking their heads now at the thought the club has traded away defencemen Subban, Ryan McDonagh (a first-round draft pick in 2007) and now Sergachev.

The 22-year old Drouin played in 73 games for the Lightning in 2016-2017, posting 53 points (21 goals, 32 assists). And I think he's a guy the Canadiens have had some interest in for awhile. It's very hard to find a player of that caliber. With Montreal seeking scoring punch up front, Drouin, a Quebec native, is a flawless fit for the Canadiens. That's not to say I don't like (GM Steve Yzerman).

Last February, Bergevin said: "The idea of giving a young player like Sergachev for a fix won't happen". No sooner had Drouin arrived at a Bell Centre news conference and donned a Canadiens jersey (No. 72, probably not the number he will wear) than it was announced the potential restricted free agent had agreed to a six-year contract extension, reportedly worth a reasonable US$5.5 million per season.

While it wasn't the central goal of the deal, by trading Drouin Tampa Bay can protect an extra forward in the expansion draft and has more salary-cap space moving forward with other players in need of new deals. They could potentially have lost promising 24-year-old centre Vladislav Namestnikov for nothing. It helps us in acquiring a player that we don't have to protect versus someone we'll have to protect.

He's a really talented young guy, and the Montreal Canadiens would not include him in a trade for Matt Duchene at the deadline this year. When you look at the Canadiens' history of developing their first-round picks - including Nikita Scherbak (2014), Michael McCarron (2013), Galchenyuk (2012), Beaulieu (2011), Jarred Tinordi (2010) and Louis Leblanc (2009) - maybe it's just as well they dealt Sergachev for a player who has already shown he can perform in the National Hockey League.