Not content to let the Toronto Maples Leafs take the spotlight, the Montreal Canadiens made two separate deals after their rivals selected Auston Matthews 1st overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
The Canadiens have sent Lars Eller to the Washington Capitals for a 2nd round pick in 2017 and a 2nd round pick in 2018 and then promptly replaced the Danish forward with Andrew Shaw from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for two 2nd round picks.
Montreal Canadiens Trade Lars Eller, Add Andrew Shaw in Separate Deals
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 24, 2016
Eller, originally drafted 13th overall by the St. Louis Blues in 2007, had played the last six seasons in Montreal, but has never come close to fulfilling the offensive potential that his draft position warranted. Eller is a good skater with defensive acumen, but has been criticized for his inconsistency.
The 27-year-old scored 13 goals and 13 assists for 26 points in 79 games with the Canadiens in 2015-16, while averaging 15:15 of ice time a night. Eller has two seasons remaining on his current contract, with a cap hit of $3.5 million per year. In Washington he will likely play a middle-six winger role.
Shaw was originally drafted by the Blackhawks in 2011, 139th overall. The 24-year-old winger plays more of a hard-nosed game than Eller, but also has a knack for finding the back of the net, scoring 14 goals and 20 assists for 34 points in 78 games for Chicago last season.
Unlike Eller, Shaw is a restricted free agent, and Montreal General Manager will have to work to sign him to a new contract, reportedly one with longer term and a higher salary than his previous two-year, $4 million deal, which Chicago was likely unwilling to do. Early reports are that Shaw will be signed to a five-year deal by Montreal.