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The Montreal Canadiens re-assign defenceman Ryan Johnston to the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps

The acquisition of Nikita Nesterov forced the demotion of the waiver-exempt player.

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens acquired defencemen Nikita Nesterov on Thursday evening, and that meant one of the eight active blue-liners needed to be moved. The decision by Mark Bergevin was the simplest one, as he sent Ryan Johnston down the the St. John’s IceCaps of the AHL.

Called up for his recent stint on December 27, Johnston played seven games for the Canadiens before being a healthy scratch as the backup seventh option for the Habs’ last eight games. In that time he didn’t contribute any offence, registering three shots on goal.

In 23 games with the IceCaps this season, he has one goal (his first as a professional) and six assists, while sporting a team-low -11 goal differential.

Johnston could return to the St. John’s lineup as early as Friday night when the team hosts the Toronto Marlies.