On Thursday, the Montreal Canadiens acquired former 2013 third overall pick Jonathan Drouin from the Tampa Bay Lightning, in exchange for defenseman prospect Mikhail Sergachev. In addition, the Canadiens will send a conditional 2018 second-round pick to the Lightning and receive a conditional 2018 sixth-round pick in return.
After being traded to Montreal, the Canadiens signed Drouin to a six-year, $33 million extension that will end up paying him approximately $5.5 million per year.
Drouin, 22, had a breakout season for the Lightning last year, registering 21 goals and 32 assists (53 points) in 73 games played. Drouin has been rumored to be involved in trade talks ever since he was relegated to the AHL and demanded a trade in the 2015-16 season. Drouin was able to rebound and earned his full-time role the following year.
Sergachev, 18, was the ninth overall selection in the 2016 NHL Draft and made his debut with the Canadiens, registering a +1 rating in four games played before being returned to his OHL team, Windsor Spitfires. The defenseman returned to Windsor and scored 10 goals and 33 assists (43 points) in 50 games.
Sergachev appears poised to win a defenseman spot on the roster this season, as the Lightning are in danger of losing some defenseman in the expansion draft. Luckily for Tampa Bay, they do not have to protect Sergachev in the expansion draft.
The Lightning were not only facing a salary cap crunch but a roster crunch as well. By dealing Drouin, they get assets for a player who may not have been able to be protected, while also saving money on what would have been a pricey extension.
The Canadiens, however, acquired a possible superstar in the 22-year-old, who could be poised for a 30-goal season next year. The pick conditions concern how much playing time Sergachev receives and if he were to play more than 40 games, the picks would convey. It is unclear if Sergachev will play that many games, but it could be a very beneficial deal for both sides in a few years.