Sabres acquire defenseman Nathan Beaulieu from Canadiens

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Vancouver Canucks centre Michael Chaput (45) fights for control of the puck with Montreal Canadiens defenceman Nathan Beaulieu (28) during first period National Hockey League action in Vancouver on March 7, 2017.

The Buffalo Sabres have acquired defenseman Nathan Beaulieu from the Montreal Canadiens for a 2017 3rd round pick.

On the score sheet, the blue liner had a breakout season; he even opened up the season on the top pairing with Shea Weber.

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The Canadiens will receive Buffalo's third-round pick (No. 68 overall) in next week's draft as part of the deal, which was announced Saturday.

Over the last few days, there was plenty of chatter about the Habs looking to move Beaulieu before today's 3:00 p.m. ET roster freeze. However, in 2016-17 Beaulieu had a much better season putting up 28 points in 74 games with 44 penalty minutes and a plus-eight rating.

In trading for Beaulieu, and with him likely joining Ristolainen and McCabe on the protected list, it looks as if the Sabres will be leaving two high-priced, veteran players unprotected in the expansion draft-Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges.