The Montreal Canadiens made a trade minutes before their game with the New York Islanders, acquiring defenceman Nikita Nesterov from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Canadiens acquire defenseman Nikita Nesterov from Tampa, in return for defenseman Jonathan Racine and a 6th round pick in 2017.— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) January 27, 2017
Nesterov is a left-handed defenceman so he can provide depth, especially considering the health status of Andrei Markov. Racine spent the year in the American Hockey League after being acquired in return for Tim Bozon.
He has three goals and nine assists in 35 games in the NHL this year for Tampa Bay this season and instantly provides NHL depth for this team for a return that is not a lot. He is 5’11, 191 and has a very modest cap hit of $725,000.
He is only 23 years old and already has 119 NHL games in his career. He is a restricted free agent at the end of the season. He is eligible for arbitration.
A minor league defenceman and a late round pick for an NHL defenceman is a trade you make for a contending team any day of the week.
Nesterov RFA July 1. Bolts have other guys to re-sign with tight cap, Johnson, Palat, etc.... Worthy look for Habs. Good skater, puck mover— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) January 27, 2017
Marc Bergevin is fond of adding defencemen to the organization, and Nesterov is a puck moving defenceman like he said that he is looking for. For now, he will likely battle for playing time, but it will be interesting to see how the Canadiens work him into the lineup.