Five Best Montreal Canadiens Trade Deadline Deals Ever

May 24, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault
May 24, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault / Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
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5. The Brett Kulak Trade

Brett Kulak was a bit of a gift for the Montreal Canadiens who got him for basically nothing, and were able to squeeze some pretty good hockey out of the left defenseman. He cleared waivers twice in 2018 and was then traded to the Canadiens for Matt Taormina and Rinat Valiev.

Kulak turned into a reliable two-way defender who always had impressive advanced stats and was a borderline second pairing defenseman for a couple years in Montreal. He helped the Canadiens reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2021, but was a pending free agent the following season, and the Canadiens were not going back to the playoffs.

So, in March of 2022, Kulak was shipped to the Edmonton Oilers for a second round draft pick in 2022, a seventh round pick in 2024 and William Lagesson. Lagesson played a couple of games for the Canadiens that season and the seventh round pick isn't likely to amount to much, but getting a second round pick for Kulak was really good value at the time.

Many people were debating ahead of the trade deadline whether or not the Canadiens could get a third or fourth round pick for Kulak so it was surprising to see him go for a second rounder. That makes it a great trade on the day it was pulled off.

However, since the Canadiens now had an extra second round pick, and had already picked twice in the first round, they were able to gamble a little with their extra second round pick. The Canadiens selected Lane Hutson with that pick acquired in the Kulak trade, and he was seen as a super skilled, elite offensive player that was just tiny.

Hutson has since gone to college for two seasons and grown substantially while putting up numbers almost never seen at the NCAA level. He is among the very best prospects in the hockey world, and the Canadiens were able to select him because of a trade deadline deal two years ago.