Blackhawks trade Nicolas Beaudin to Canadiens for Cam Hillis

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The Montreal Canadiens have addressed their defensive depth by adding Nicolas Beaudin from Chicago in exchange for forward Cam Hillis.

Beaudin, 23, was a first-round pick by the Blackhawks in 2018, but got lost in the shuffle over the years. He has 22 NHL games to his credit, including a pair of outings in 2021-22. Beaudin has spent the season with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, recording one assist in three games so far.

Beaudin is in the last year of his deal with an NHL AAV of $863,333.

Hillis, 22, was a third-round selection by Montreal back in 2018. The 5-foot-9 forward was an OHL champion with Guelph in 2019 and served as the team’s captain in his final junior season. The COVID-shortened 2020-21 season resulted in limited action to begin his career before bouncing between the NHL, AHL and ECHL last year. Hillis has two goals in three games with the ECHL’s Trois-Rivieres Lions in 2022-23, but will take his talents to Rockford for the time being.

This is purely a depth trade, but one that could see Beaudin earn opportunities with the Canadiens soon. While he never has been a daily fixture in the NHL, he already has considerable pro experience and can fill in on a team that has had some noteworthy injuries on the back end early on. Joel Edmundson is expected to return soon, but Mike Matheson will be out for at least another month. The Canadiens are currently using a trio of rookies – Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris and Arber Xhekaj – to help fill out the blueline.

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