Habs trade Nathan Beaulieu to Buffalo

Beaulieu will now be a Sabre starting in the 2017-2018 season.

Beaulieu, 24, was the Habs' first-round pick in 2011. "And going to Buffalo was a bonus".

In 74 games with the Canadiens this season, Beaulieu registered four goals and 24 assists for 28 points and 44 penalty minutes.

The deal was made less than two hours before the Expansion Draft trade freeze and will allow the Canadiens to protect a different blueliner with their third protection slot (one of Jordie Benn, Brandon Davidson, or Alexei Emelin). Despite falling out of favor in Montreal, Beaulieu still posses the potential to be a top-four defenseman in the National Hockey League.

In 225 career National Hockey League regular-season games, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Beaulieu owns 60 points (seven goals, 53 assists), adding four points in 17 career playoff games.

Though he's not familiar with Housley, Beaulieu believes he's better suited to play in Buffalo as opposed to Montreal, which favored its defensemen playing a more rugged style.

"I've got a huge opportunity to re-grow my game with a guy who played the game similarly to the way I would like to play it", Beaulieu said.

Vanessa Coleman