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Analysis: Making sense of the Andreas Martinsen for Sven Andrighetto trade

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We take a deeper look at the Andreas Martinsen trade that sent Sven Andrighetto to the Colorado Avalanche.

Montreal Canadiens v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Marc Bergevin acquired Andreas Martinsen from the Colorado Avalanche in return for Sven Andrighetto.

Following the trend from all the deadline-day moves, the Montreal Canadiens got bigger with the transaction. Andreas Martinsen is 6’3” and weighs in at 220lbs. The left-winger was an undrafted signing in 2015 and, much like David Desharnais, worked his way into his team’s lineup. Martinsen has played 110 games in an Avs uniform, scoring seven times and collecting 18 points while accumulating 79 penalty minutes over two seasons.

This season, the hulking Norwegian forward has three goals and four assists to go along with poor even-strength possession numbers; Martinsen has yet to break 50% in shot-attempts-for percentage over his career, though has been playing on perhaps the worst NHL team in that time. Taking a look at his usage and impact doesn’t yield a much friendlier view of Martinsen’s contributions.

Joe Colborne saw a significant increase in possession when playing with Martinsen rather than without, though it appears the Baerum-native had no effect on his other most common linemate, Carl Soderberg. Either way, the three have stayed in the mid-40% possession range, which is not good at all.

Not for the first time today, a quick look at the numbers show that Montreal may end up on the losing side of this deal.

Sven Andrighetto is a former third-round draft pick (86th overall in 2013) who, standing at 5’10” and 190 lbs, doesn’t fit in this new, size-focused version the Habs are building. With the arrivals of Steve Ott and Dwight King, Andrighetto was left in a precarious position, and it seems the young Swiss forward will have a chance to reboot his career in the Rockies, which should feel like home for the Swiss winger. Should the Avalanche use Andrighetto as a secondary scoring winger, they could see good results.

This move complicates the logjam of players for Montreal’s bottom six, which now features Paul Byron, Andrew Shaw, Brian Flynn, and Torrey Mitchell along with Michael McCarron and fellow new additions Steve Ott and Dwight King.

It remains to be seen what Martinsen can do for himself with the change of address and coach, and being dropped into a division-leading team’s roster.

This move makes the thought process of the general manager clear. Bergevin had already dealt David Desharnais before Andrighetto — small, quick, offensive-minded players — and in response has loaded up on big, offensively underwhelming forwards. Charles Hudon and Daniel Carr will have to wait for their shot, it seems.

For Andrighetto, nobody will dispute his ability to score at the AHL, nearing a point-per-game pace over the last two seasons, but that offence never really translated to the top level, with a few short bursts of production all he was able to manage in Montreal. He does have talent, and it may be helped by playing with the skilled young forwards in Colorado.

What Montreal receives in Andreas Martinsen is another big-bodied depth forward who’s biggest asset may be taking minutes for other lines to rest. His size and grit could come in handy during the playoffs and seems to be part of the new hard-to-play-against image of the Montreal Canadiens.