The Montreal Canadiens had a relatively quiet NHL Trade Deadline, moving out just a few players on expiring deals. Ilya Kovalchuk, who was traded on Sunday evening, was the biggest name to move. There was a bit of upheaval at the AHL level, however, so the organization looks a bit different now that the dust has settled.
There are just enough players in Montreal to dress a full lineup, and that’s with the recall of Jake Evans this afternoon after parting with bottom-six forwards Nate Thompson and Nick Cousins. As it stands, the 2014 seventh-round selection is looking like the fourth-line centre going forward, although Jordan Weal has experience at the position, and was playing in the middle at practice this morning.
On defence, Karl Alzner is officially back on the NHL roster after being assigned to the AHL club as the deadline passed to keep him eligible for the minor-league playoffs. There are injury issues on defence at both pro levels in the organization, and he will be with the team at least until one of the options to replace him returns to health.
The AHL team got a bit of a shakeup over the past week, as veteran forwards Phil Varone and Riley Barber were traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins organization. Just ahead of the deadline. Matthew Peca was dealt to Ottawa. Coming back in return were Jacob Lucchini, Joseph Blandisi (who was hurt in his first game in Laval), and Aaron Luchuk. Rocket head coach Joël Bouchard will hope to get more out of this new trio than from the last.
The prospect pool remains intact, as you would expect from a team operating as a seller with its eyes on the future. The Canadiens also significantly increased their number of draft picks, now holding 14 for the home draft in June, and already 10 plus one of the conditional variety for 2021.
You can see all the picks at their disposal and review all the ones dating back to 2005, along with the details of how they were acquired, at our regularly updated Organization Depth Chart page.