Canadiens send defenceman Nathan Beaulieu to Sabres for third-round pick

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Beaulieu completed his fifth season with the Canadiens in 2016-17.

The Buffalo Sabres have traded a 2017 third round pick to Montreal in exchange for left-handed defenseman Nathan Beaulieu.

Beaulieu was the 17th overall pick back in 2011 and had spent his entire National Hockey League career with the Canadiens until now.

Beaulieu was drafted in the first round (17th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Beaulieu is viewed by analysts as an upgrade to the Sabres D-corps with his size along with his ability to skate and move the puck.

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Last season, the defenceman struggled.

He opened the season as Shea Weber's partner on the top defense pairing, but quickly found himself lower on the depth chart. "After just a handful of games, [then head coach] Michel Therrien decided he had seen enough". In the Canadiens' final playoff game of the year (Game 6 against the New York Rangers), head coach Claude Julien made Beaulieu a healthy scratch, which was pretty telling. Montreal lost that game 3-1 at Madison Square Gardens and lost the series 4-2.

Will Las Vegas GM George McPhee be interested in either of those two and/or will there be enticements for him to select either of them or the high-dollar contracts of Tyler Ennis or Matt Moulson?

It'll be from the penthouse to the basement for Beaulieu, who departs the 47-26-9 Canadiens for the 33-37-12 Sabres.

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