Sabres acquire defenseman from Canadiens

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The Buffalo Sabres have acquired defenseman Nathan Beaulieu in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a third-round draft pick (68th overall in 2017), the team announced Saturday.

Beaulieu, a first-round pick (17th overall) in 2011, was drafted by the Canadiens after four seasons in the QMJHL with the Saint John Sea Dogs that included a Memorial Cup championship in 2011 and QMJHL titles in 2011 and 2012.

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).

In 2016-17 Beaulieu registered four goals and 24 assists in 74 games and added an assist in five playoff games. "After just a handful of games, [then head coach] Michel Therrien decided he had seen enough".

This comes with a roster freeze taking place today at 3 PM before the expansion and National Hockey League drafts taking place later this week.

Beaulieu immediately improves the Sabres' blue line under new coach Phil Housley, a Hall of Fame defenseman.