Trade: Habs ship Nathan Beaulieu to Sabres for draft pick

Joey Alfieri
NBC Sports

For the second time this week, the Montreal Canadiens have traded away a young defenseman.

After shipping Mikhail Sergachev to the Lightning for Jonathan Drouin, Montreal has now traded away Nathan Beaulieu to the Buffalo Sabres for a third-round pick in 2017 (68th overall).

Over the last few days, there was plenty of chatter about the Habs looking to move Beaulieu before today’s 3:00 p.m. ET roster freeze.

He opened the season as Shea Weber‘s partner on the top defense pairing, but quickly found himself lower on the depth chart. In the Canadiens’ final playoff game of the year (Game 6 against the New York Rangers), head coach Claude Julien made Beaulieu a healthy scratch, which was pretty telling.

“Obviously, it’s disappointing,” Beaulieu said of being a healthy scratch against New York, per the Montreal Gazette. “A lot of positives coming out of this year, though. It’s s—– the way it ended, but try to find some positives going into the summer is the best way to look at the situation.”

Despite struggling with consistency, he still managed to set career-highs in goals (4) and points (28) in 2016-17.

The return appears to be underwhelming, but it allows the Canadiens to get something for Beaulieu, while (likely) protecting Jordie Benn, who’s on a team-friendly contract ($1.1 million AAV).

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