The Vegas Golden Knights made their picks in the expansion draft, and Alexei Emelin was their choice from the Montreal Canadiens.
The selection means the Habs have parted with four left-handed defenceman in less than a week.
First up was a surprising move to acquire talented forward Jonathan Drouin from the Tampa Bay Lightning. The trade cost the Canadiens their top left-handed defenceman — and top overall prospect — Mikhail Sergachev.
The team also declined to extend a qualifying offer to Nikita Nesterov, and traded Nathan Beaulieu to the Buffalo Sabres for a third-round pick before protected lists for the expansion draft were due.
The Canadiens have gone from having seven left-handed defencemen with a legitimate shot at an NHL roster spot to just three in a matter of days. The organization had worked to strengthen that specific area in the last year, adding Sergachev and Victor Mete with two of their first three picks in last year’s draft. Now, the process will need to begin again, and we’ll see how this area is addressed at the draft, in free agency this summer, and in the future.