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Tomas Plekanec trade to Toronto allowed CH to draft Lane Hutson
There have been countless transactions in the history of the National Hockey League.

Some have made history, while others have not.

Many big deals have had a huge impact on the future of the NHL, while others have not had the desired effect.

As for the small, trivial transactions that clearly fly under the radar after a few seasons, the majority will be consigned to oblivion and will never have had any impact.

However, some of these small, seemingly trivial transactions end up having a major impact a few years later, thanks to various elements present in the deal, such as a draft pick for example.

Well, when you look back at the history of the Montreal Canadiens’ transactions, one of them that was just a simple, unimportant deal at the time could end up bringing the CH a lot of money if all goes according to plan.

I’m talking about the deal that sent Tomas Plekanec to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2017-2018 season.

It’s important to note that such a transaction between rivals (Canadiens-Leafs) is rather rare.

Seeing Plekanec in a Leafs jersey was actually very odd to observe, as Marc Dumont noted in his article featuring a top-10 list of CH alumni on whom a jersey other than the CH’s made them look very odd.

Back then, in return for Plekanec, the Tricolore acquired a second-round pick (now Jacob Olofsson), Kerby Rychel and Rinat Valiev.

A rather banal return when analyzed today, considering that Jacob Olofsson was a prospect who never broke through, and Kerby Rychel didn’t last long in the CH organization, playing just four games (one goal and one assist) with the CH and 16 games (eight goals and four assists) in the AHL with the Laval Rocket.

Even so, this transaction could still have a major impact on the future of the Montreal Canadiens.

But how?

Thanks to the last element of this transaction, defender Rinat Valiev.

Valiev also didn’t last long with the CH, playing two games with the Tricolore and five games with the Rocket, collecting one goal and two assists.

He was then traded to the Calgary Flames, and this is where it gets interesting.

The CH sent Valiev and Matt Taormina to Calgary in return for Brett Kulak.

You’ll certainly remember Kulak, who played four seasons with the Habs from 2018 to 2022.

The Canadian defenseman served the CH very well as a depth defenseman who got the job done.

That’s why Kulak was traded to the Edmonton Oilers at the 2022 trade deadline.

The Oilers were looking for a reliable defenseman to solidify their playoff defense, and decided to add Kulak to their roster.

Kulak eventually re-signed with the Oilers for four seasons at an annual value of $2.75 million.

In return, the Oilers traded defenseman William Lagesson and a second-round pick to the Habs.

Do you finally understand what the Tomas Plekanec deal is all about?

This second-round pick, which may seem trivial at first glance as it was in the Plekanec deal with Jacob Olofsson, enabled the CH to draft none other than Lane Hutson.

Currently, Hutson is seen by many as the Tricolore’s top prospect, as well as a future NHL elite defenseman.

Hutson’s development is going very well, and if all continues to go well, Hutson will be seen as one of the steals of the 2022 draft.

The American defenseman could very well become the Canadiens’ best defenseman within a few years.

In short, the trade of Tomas Plekanec to the Toronto Maple Leafs allowed the CH to draft a diamond in the rough in Lane Hutson a few years later.

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