On a day when the Boston Bruins made a major move, acquiring Jaromir Jagr from the Dallas Stars, the Canadiens made a minor depth move Tuesday, acquiring defenceman Davis Drewiske from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick this year.
Drewiske, a 6-foot-2, 222-pound product of the University of Wisconsin, played 20 games with the Kings this season, posting 1-3-4 totals with 14 penalty minutes and a plus-3.
Last season, when the Kings won the Stanley Cup, the 28-year-old played nine regular-season games, scoring two goals, and wasn’t used at all during the playoffs.
“Davis Drewiske is a defenceman with good size and experience who has already played more than 120 games in the NHL,” Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said in a statement. “He adds significant depth to our group of defencemen.”
The Canadiens later announced that defenceman Nathan Beaulieu had been sent back to the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs. In two games with the Canadiens, Beaulieu had one assist and was plus-2.
NBC hockey analyst Pierre McGuire was impressed with the move to acquire Drewiske.
“He’s a trememdous depth player … 6-2 about 225 … one of the hardest-working players I’ve seen,” McGuire told Mitch Melnick during his regular afternoon segment on TSN Radio 690. “Last year during the Stanley Cup final he never complained once. Now you’re talking about going four rounds, tons of travel, coast to coast.
“Even by the Stanley Cup final, he was out there practising with Bernie Nicholls and he was just such a determined guy. He is one of those players that his work habits are infectious and impeccable. And so this is all about character more than anything else.
“Is he a great player? No. But is he big, is he physical, is he robust? Yes. Is he going to cause problems? No. This is a very good acquisition I think.”
McGuire said it’s a case of the Kings giving “a really good kid a great chance,” adding that “he’s going to want to prove a point.”
“He’s just really stoic, but he’s just so full of energy and strong and well-built and well-conditioned,” McGuire said. “I endorse this. This is great.
“He’s not going to be intimidated about playing in Montreal. … he’s a mature kid. He played a lot of huge games at Wisconsin.”
Drewiske, who will wear No. 44 with the Canadiens, is earning a pro-rated $650,000 U.S. this season and can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer.
The Bruins acquired Jagr from the Stars in exchange for a conditional second-round draft pick and two prospects – Lane MacDermid and Cody Payne. The conditional second-round pick this year will become a first-round pick if Boston advances to the Eastern Conference final.
The Canadiens visit the Philadelphia Flyers Wednesday (7:30 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN Radio 690) and then play host to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday and Jagr and the Bruins on Saturday at the Bell Centre.
Renaud Lavoie of RDS reported on Twitter that Colby Armstrong, who appeared to suffer a knee injury during Monday’s victory over the Carolina Hurricanes, has been placed on injured reserve.
(Photo by Allen McInnis/The Gazette)