|Drouin (left) and Sergachev (right)|
BLOCKBUSTER TRADE ALERT
Yep. We have our first blockbuster trade of the offseason. Young left winger Jonathan Drouin has found a new home, after the Tampa Bay Lightning traded Drouin and a conditional 6th round pick in the 2018 NHL draft to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for prospect defenseman Mikhail Sergachev and a conditional second round draft pick in the 2018 NHL draft.
The Habs were looking for a top six forward, and had interest in the 22 year old playmaker Drouin. There was rumors that a Drouin for star center Alex Galchenyuk trade would happen, but substituting Sergachev for Galchenyuk probably would work better for Montreal. After the Lightning drafted Drouin third overall in 2013, Drouin scored 95 points (29 goals and 66 assists) for them in 164 games over three seasons. He broke out in 2016-17, scoring 21 goals and 32 assists for 53 points in 73 games, all career highs. He can be an RFA (restricted free agent) on July 1st.
I'm not 100 percent sure why the Bolts would even think about trading Drouin, but it's probably because they couldn't get him to sign. Also, he played just 21 games in 2015-16 due to suspensions over AHL visits, and a trade request. They got a big prospect in Sergachev, and imaging Sergachev paired with a top three defenseman in Victor Hedman is scary. Sergachev, 18, played just four games with the Habs in 2016-17, and failed to score his first NHL point in them. The Habs drafted him 9th overall in the 2016 NHL draft.
I think the Canadiens win this trade. They get a good player in Drouin, who's also young. They give up a prospect in Sergachev, who's a defenseman, their big need, but they have Shea Weber, a top defenseman, and the best goalie in the world in Carey Price. But, still expect them to draft a defenseman in the first round this year.
Also, the Canadiens signed Drouin to a six year deal worth $33 million, with an AAV of $5.5 million. I think it's a fair deal for both parties.