Saturday, June 17, 2017

Beaulieu traded to Sabres; Despres bought out

Former Saint John Sea Dogs defenseman Nathan Beaulieu is on the move.

The Montreal Canadians traded the 24-year-old to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday in exchange for a third-round pick in next weekend's NHL Draft.

Beaulieu has spent his entire NHL career with the Habs. From the Sabres website:

Beaulieu (6'2", 205 lbs., 12/5/1992) appeared in his fifth NHL season with the Canadiens in 2016-17, logging career highs in games played (74), goals (4), assists (24) and points (28). In 225 career NHL regular-season games, Beaulieu has totaled 60 points (7+53) and a plus-19 rating, adding four points in 17 career playoff games. 
A first-round pick (17th overall) in the 2011 NHL Draft, Beaulieu was drafted by the Canadiens after four seasons in the QMJHL with the Saint John Sea Dogs that included a Memorial Cup championship in 2011 and QMJHL titles in 2011 and 2012. A native of Strathroy, Ontario he also won a bronze medal while representing Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Beaulieu spent four seasons with the Sea Dogs from 2008 to 2012, recording 37 goals and 152 points in 233 regular season games. He added 12 goals and 48 points in 61 playoff matches and another goal and seven points in eight Memorial Cup contests.

The move isn't overly surprising as Beaulieu has been involved in trade speculation at various times throughout the past couple seasons. He moves to a young and building Sabres squad that will likely have its struggles again this year.
As teams continue to prepare their rosters ahead of the Las Vegas Expansion Draft, another former Sea Dogs defenseman is on the move. It was reported on Friday that Simon Despres has been waived with the purpose of buying him out.

From Puck Daddy:

Despres had for more seasons at $3.7 million remaining on his contract. Though he will remain on Anaheim’s payroll through the 2024-25 season, the decision to shed Despres will make it easier for general manager Bob Murray to extend Cam Fowler.

The 25-year-old appeared in just one game with the Ducks this past season and spent most of the year on the injured reserve. While Despres' injury was never revealed by the Ducks, it's believed to have been concussion related. Hopefully Despres can get healthy again.
The NHL Expansion Draft takes place on Wednesday. The NHL Draft will be held on Friday and Saturday.

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