Normally on June 17th not too much happens, but this year has been completely different. With the expansion draft coming up, NHL teams had until 3 p.m ET today to make trades before a mandatory roster freeze goes into effect. Many teams scrambled to get things done, while some managed to pull off some trades, while others stood pat.
As the expansion deadline happens I will add all announced trades to the list.
Montreal Canadiens trade Nathan Beaulieu to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a 3rd round pick (68th overall) in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
This trade provides Montreal one less player to worry about protecting for the upcoming draft. It is rumored that Jordie Benn will be the third protected defensemen. The acquisition of this pick gives Montreal a total of five picks in the first three rounds (25th, 56th, 58th, 68th, and 87th). It is rumored Montreal is in the search for new defensemen that could be an upgrade from Beaulieu. Having a stockpile of draft picks gives Montreal a better chance at getting it done.
Buffalo Sabres acquire Beaulieu who set a career high in games played last season, scoring four goals and 24 assists in 74 games. He is to become a restricted free agent and will need to be protected in the expansion draft. With the certainty of Ristolainen being protected this mean that leaves one spot for Jake McCabe, Josh Gorges and Zach Bogosian.
Arizona Coyotes trade Mike Smith in exchange for UFA Chad Johnson, unsigned prospect Brandon Hickey and a conditional 3rd round draft pick.
With Calgary having no starting goalie this fills the hole that they have been working on for years. Smith has two years left on his current contract with an average annual value of $5.66 million (Bob McKenzie report’s Arizona retains 25% of Smiths salary). Calgary GM Brad Treliving does have ties with Mike Smith from his time as assistant GM of the Coyotes from 2003-2014.
Coyotes are in full rebuild mode so getting young prospects and draft picks is a fair way to go. Chad Johnson is set to become a UFA, so it is unsure if Coyotes will resign him. Hickey, a 21-year-old defenceman, scored four goals and added 11 assists over 35 games with Boston University last season.
The conditional pick is that if Calgary Flames makes the playoffs next season then that 3rd round pick becomes a 2nd rounder.
New Jersey Devils acquire defensmen Micro Mueller and 5th round pick (143th) from San Jose for 2nd and 4th round picks (49th & 123rd)
Micro Mueller, 22, has spent his entire career with the Sharks’ organization, since being selected in the first round (18th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft. He has bounced the last three seasons splitting with the club’s AHL and NHL affiliates. Last season, he appeared in four games with the Sharks, scoring one goal and one assist. Mueller skated in 62 games with the AHL Barracuda, notching two goals and 18 assists for 20 points and added five assists in 15 Calder Cup Playoff contests. In 54 career NHL games, he has two goals and four assists for six points and 17 penalty minutes.
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