Montreal Canadiens: Nathan Beaulieu Could Be on the Trade Block

Examining why Montreal Canadiens Defensemen Nathan Beaulieu could be on the trade block.

The Montreal Canadiens recent acquisition of Nikita Nesterov definitely raised some eyebrows. Nesterov is only 23 years old, and has been a solid player during his tenure with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Nesterov still has a ton of upside, and should continue to develop into a better player as the years go by.

Nikita lacks size, but he is a very quick puck moving Defensemen. This trade only adds to the high number of good puck movers that the Canadiens posses. Defensemen like Andrei Markov, Nathan Beaulieu, Jeff Petry, and Mark Barberio are all puck movers, who have great offensive instincts.

The question after the Nesterov trade now becomes, what could the chain reaction be to this trade? The Habs already have many defenders who can log a ton of ice time, so could they be considering trading one of their other Defensemen?

Engels Thoughts

A player that has recently that surfaced that could be on the trade block is Nathan Beaulieu. Sportsnet’s Beat Reporter, Eric Engels, who covers the the Montreal Canadiens, commented on this and here’s what he had to say:

Beaulieu, who collected his 17th assist in Montreal’s 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday and has 19 points in 43 games while averaging over 20 minutes per game this season, is also likely to pull in a healthy raise. The 6-foot-2 24-year-old is currently on a two-year, $2-million bridge deal that expires this summer.

But even if Beaulieu has played well, he hasn’t been able to entirely supplant Markov, who’s missed the last 19 games with a groin injury. And Nesterov—who has collected eight goals and 28 points and shown some upside in 119 NHL games—is going to be a significantly cheaper option to sign as a restricted free agent this summer.

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Habs could be Targeting a Top Six Forward from Colorado

Beaulieu has put up solid numbers so far this season as Engles pointed out. However, he will probably get a significant raise in the off-season, and the Habs may not commit to Beaulieu. If that’s the case, Beaulieu could be a huge trade chip to land another top six forward.

One possible team that needs, and wants a young Defensemen, is the Colorado Avalanche. Avs General Manager Joe Sakic has stated that he would like to add a younger players, and to get better on Defense.

The Avalanche are a colossal mess, and they’re currently the NHL’s worst team. So it would make sense that Colorado would want to rebuild their roster for the future. As a result, the Avs could part ways with veteran players like Matt Duchene, and Gabriel Landeskog.

The Habs could make a significant offer to land either of these forwards, and Beaulieu could be the key center piece of the deal. Either Landeskog or Duchene would bolster the Habs top six forward depth. However, Duchene may be more versatile, as he could play Center, or on the Left Wing.

For more updates on Habs trade rumors, speculation, and scenarios, click here.

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