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Players who could sweeten a potential trade for the Montreal Canadiens this off-season

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Five prospects who could tip the balance of a trade.

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes it is necessary to make a sacrifice in order to improve your team. Montreal Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin said so himself in the season-ending press conference when replying to a question about the lack of big trades that were made.

Looking at Bergevin's comments at face value, it is true that in order to get something you have to give something, and so we will look at five prospects in the Habs system who could be used to make a big splash in the trade market this summer.

These players might be the difference between a polite decline on the other end of the phone, and beating out the offers from other interested parties. It's important to note that we are talking about a situation where the package is greater than the sum of the individual parts, so these players on their own will not bring major value in return, but as part of a package with draft picks and/or an established roster player, they could help to create a serious proposal for another GM.

Zachary Fucale

Fucale's career is filled with championship accolades. From a Memorial Cup win in 2013 to a gold medal with Team Canada at the World Junior Championship in 2015, his pedigree is that of a winner. During his first professional season as part of the St. John's IceCaps, Fucale put together a solid, if unspectacular, season, showing that he has some learning left to do.

But with momentary glimpses of sheer brilliance Fucale offers a lot of potential for a team looking to shore up their goalie depth. With the signing of Charlie Lindgren, there is a glut of goalies in the Canadiens organization, and Fucale could be seen as expendable, especially with Michael McNiven breathing down his neck, ready to make the jump into the pros.

Charles Hudon

The speedy winger was the Rookie of the Year in the QMJHL in 2010-11, part of the AHL All-Rookie Team in 2014-15, and led the St. John's Icecaps in goals this past season. He's a hard-driven forward and probably one of Montreal's top prospects overall, arguably NHL-ready.

And yet the Canadiens somehow don't appear willing to give him much of an opportunity to play in the NHL; only three games played this season (during which he got two assists and a plus-two rating during the team's worst stretch of the season). Rather than let him waste away in the minors, the Canadiens could try to include him in a trade package while his value is probably at its highest within their organization.

Martin Réway

Unquestionably talented but impatient by reputation, there is little question that Réway would struggle to integrate with the defensive-minded system the Montreal Canadiens currently employ. However his raw talent should be intriguing enough to other teams that they may be willing to take a chance on him, and therefore offer Bergevin a bargaining chip on a potential trade package.

In all honesty this would probably be the best move for Réway himself, as the Canadiens would likely try to deconstruct him in the AHL, getting the Sylvain Lefebvre tough-love treatment that chased other offense-first players out of the organization.

Jake Evans

A seventh-round steal for the Montreal Canadiens in 2014, Jake Evans is blossoming into an offensive threat for the University of Notre Dame in the NCAA. He had a breakout sophomore season in 2015-16 leading his team in assists, and in fact being one of the top players in all of college hockey in that category. He will continue to develop his game at UND for one more season, and then should be verging on turning pro.

He would definitely be an interesting asset for any teams who are looking to add depth to their roster. Evans is projected to be a second- to third-line player, and the Canadiens may have to surrender some future for an injection of talent in the present.

Mark Barberio

No other player on this list exemplifies give-to-get more than Barberio, who is an NHL-proven defender, dominant on the third pairing. A pending RFA, he should be signed to a reasonable contract by the Canadiens for at least the next season.

Will the Habs be willing to part with a mid- to bottom-pair defender in order to sweeten a deal that would improve their top-six forward situation? I would definitely think so. It's not like the Canadiens don't have enough supply to fill the role, as they were able to roll out 15 different players on defence last season. The Canadiens already have Andrei Markov, P.K. Subban, Jeff Petry, Alexei Emelin, Nathan Beaulieu, and Greg Pateryn as their six defenders, so between Morgan Ellis, Darren Dietz, Ryan Johnston, and current UFA Joel Hanley, there should be an adequate replacement for Barberio.