Habs bid adieu to D’Agostini

Newest Canadien Aaron Palushaj
Mark Buckner, NHLI via Getty Images

The Canadiens made a deal overnight but it was hardly a blockbuster.

The Habs gave up on Matt D’Agostini, sending the underachieving forward to the St. Louis Blues for minor-leaguer Aaron Palushaj.

D’Agostini had a breakthrough season in 2008-09 with 12 goals but had only two goals and seven assists in 40 games this season. He was a healthy scratch for five of the team’s past 13 games and also spent three games in the minors during that stretch.

The 20-year-old Palushaj is a project at best. He was an all-American at Michigan but had ordinary numbers with Peoria of the AHL. The  6-foot, 183 pounder had five goals and 17 assists in 44 games and is headed to Hamilton.

The deal doesn’t do much for the Canadiens vis-à-vis the salary cap because D’Agostini is a minimum-wage player with a $500,000 salary. More on Palushaj, read below:

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Shout-out to SeriousFan09 for these notes:

From Hockey’s Future:

Analysis: Palushaj boasts a good all-around game. He can snipe goals with his quick shooting, and his stickhandling and playmaking abilities are also strong. He doesn’t mind physical play, willing to dig in the corners to win the puck.
Future: Scoring winger.

Full Junior/College/AHL stats can be found here.

A 2008 interview, when Palushaj was a freshman at Michigan.

A feature from the 2009 NHL prospects camp.

Blues training camp marred by injury

Notes: He scored 23 goals and a total of 94 points in 82 games in two NCAA seasons at the University of Michigan in the same two years he played with current member of the organization Max Pacioretty so he may rediscover some chemistry with his old Michigan eammate. Good numbers as NCAA hockey is generally low-scoring compared to the CHL leagues. Ranked 4th overall on the St. Louis Blues prospect chart by Hockey’s Future.

2006-07: Palushaj played in the USHL with Des
Moines. He was one of the Buccaneers’ top scorers, with 22 goals and 45
assists. He maintained his strong pace in the league playoffs,
registering 11 points in eight games.

2007-08: This was Palushaj’s rookie season with the University of
Michigan (CCHA). He was a CCHA All-Rookie team honorable mention. In
the nation, he was second in assists (34) and tied for ninth in assists
per game (0.79). Among the nation’s rookies, he was third in points
(44) and sixth in pointer per game (1.02). In CCHA play, he led the
league with 21 assists. He led U-M with 34 assists and was third on the
team with 44 points. He was the first U-M rookie to reach the 40-point
mark since T.J. Hensick (46) in the 2003-04 season. He tallied a
career-high three assists twice this season and 12 multi-point games.
He was a two-time CCHA Rookie of the Week (Nov. 12 and Feb. 18) and
tallied two game-winning goals on the season. He scored his first
career goal vs. Boston University of Oct. 26. He was the recipient of
the Ralph and Susan Garlick Scholarship for Men’s Ice Hockey.

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