Canadiens acquire Christian Dvorak from Coyotes after losing Kotkaniemi

·Hockey writer
·2-min read
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - MAY 05: Christian Dvorak #18 of the Arizona Coyotes skates with the puck against the Los Angeles Kings during the NHL game at Gila River Arena on May 05, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. The Kings defeated the Coyotes 4-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - MAY 05: Christian Dvorak #18 of the Arizona Coyotes skates with the puck against the Los Angeles Kings during the NHL game at Gila River Arena on May 05, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. The Kings defeated the Coyotes 4-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

It took just minutes for the Montreal Canadiens to find their replacement for Jesperi Kotkaniemi.

After losing the 21-year-old centre to the Carolina Hurricanes once they opted to not match an offer sheet, letting Kotkaniemi head down south in return for a first- and third-round pick, the Canadiens turned that draft capital into centre Christian Dvorak.

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Acquired from the Arizona Coyotes for a conditional 2022 first-round pick and their 2024 second-round pick, Montreal was able to get the top-six centre they desperately need.

The conditions on the pick are just a tad bit confusing. The Coyotes will receive the higher first-round pick between the Canadiens’ pick and the Hurricanes’ pick in next year’s draft. But in the situation that both picks are in the first 10 selections, Arizona will get the lower pick between the two.

At 25 years old, Dvorak certainly has more experience than the player that he’s replacing in Montreal, with a total of 302 NHL games under his belt in his five seasons in the desert. He certainly won’t blow you away offensively with his career-high of 38 points in a campaign, but he is a solid option that will be under Canadiens' control for a while.

Dvorak is heading into the third year of his six-year deal that carries a cap hit of $4.45 million, meaning that he will at least be in Montreal through the 2024-25 season. Considering that Phillip Danault just left the Canadiens for a bigger payday in Los Angeles, getting another centre with similar style — albeit not as effective, yet — with a lot of term left on their deal, is fairly ideal.

From Arizona’s perspective, the rebuild just keeps on rolling on as the Coyotes have either been utilizing cap space to get extra draft picks, as they did when they acquired Shayne Gostisbehere from the Philadelphia Flyers, or simply unloading large contracts and future commitments for short-term pain and even more picks, as they traded franchise icon Oliver Ekman-Larsson to the Vancouver Canucks earlier this summer.

One team is looking to stay in the hunt for a spot in the playoffs, while the other is doing everything it can to get a high-enough draft pick to make the upcoming pain worth it. Fun!

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