The Montréal Canadiens have upgraded their defense, while the Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired a solid defenseman prospect and an extra draft pick as the two franchises worked out a deal Thursday that sent defenseman Nikita Nesterov from Tampa Bay to Montréal in exchange for defenseman prospect Jonathan Racine and a sixth-round pick in the 2017 draft.
Nesterov has recorded 12 points in 35 games so far this season for the Lightning. In three seasons with Tampa Bay, the 23-year-old Russian has compiled 28 points and is currently averaging 16:35 of ice time per game this season. Nesterov is best known for his ability to move the puck, and will help Montréal’s defensive depth.
Racine, 23, was taken by the Florida Panthers in the 2011 Draft with the 87th overall pick. He made his NHL debut in the 2013-14 season with Florida, and that was his only game with the Panthers before he was traded to Montréal in October of 2016. Since his arrival with the Canadiens, he has been playing with the St. John’s IceCaps of the AHL. He has three assists in 26 games in the AHL so far this season.