HABS ACQUIRE OFFENSIVE D-MAN NESTEROV
The Montreal Canadiens acquired defenseman Nikita Nesterov from the Tampa Bay Lightning for defenseman Jonathan Racine and a sixth-round draft pick in 2017.
What does it give the Montreal Canadiens
In Nesterov, the Canadiens add a purely offensive-minded defenseman who can be a factor on the power play. He has struggled defensively at the NHL level, but perhaps a move to Montreal (under defensive-minded head coach Michel Therrien) can help him round out his game. This addition may trigger another deal for Montreal, who are in the market for center help (and might dangle a defenseman now).
What does it give the Tampa Bay Lightning
For the Lightning, this deal gives Nesterov another opportunity to prove he can be an impact defenseman on a regular basis at the NHL level. Racine will provide some defensive depth for Tampa Bay's AHL affiliate in Syracuse, while the late-round draft pick may help the franchise down the line. Also, moving Nesterov clears the way for the Bolts to potentially add another blueliner before the NHL trade deadline.
Nesterov has sleeper appeal because of his offensive prowess and ability to run a quality power play. If he gets enough playing time in Montreal, he could be a real steal in most fantasy leagues. So, he should be picked up immediately, if available. His departure helps the likes of Jake Dotchin, Luke Witkowski and Slater Koekkoek on the depth chart, but don't be surprised if the Lightning add another defenseman soon.