TRADE: Montreal Canadiens Deal Ben Chiarot to Florida Panthers

When Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot was held out of the lineup last night, you knew a trade was close. Turns out he didn't have to sit out any other games as the Canadiens dealt Chiarot to the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night.

The Canadiens receive Tyler Smilanic, a 1st-round pick in 2023, and a 4th-round pick in 2022. Smilanic is a former third-round pick from 2020, currently playing in the NCAA. The Denver, Colorado native is projecting to be a versatile top-9 option. 

Chiarot on the other hand is a workhorse who loves to play a shut down game. He's also shown this season he's got plenty of upside on the offensive side of the puck. The 30-year-old blueliner has recorded 18 points in 54 games in Montreal, decent production for someone who also has 110 hits and 91 blocked shots. Appears the Panthers were not on his 10-team no-trade list.

Montreal is far from finished as they have a number of players drawing interest from other teams. The likes of Mike Hoffman, Christian Dvorak, Artturi Lehkonen, and Brett Kulak continue to be discussed as the Canadiens are absolutely loaded with draft picks over the next two drafts. Montreal's management could get creative in the summer and re-tool on the fly after a disappointing 2021-22 season. 

Photo credit:  David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports