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Canadiens get Drewiske from Kings for pick

by Arpon Basu

The Montreal Canadiens spent the better part of March auditioning some of their young defense prospects for the sixth spot on their blue line.

The organization finally decided to look at an external solution Tuesday.

The Canadiens acquired defenseman Davis Drewiske from the Los Angeles Kings for a fifth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

"Davis Drewiske is a defenseman with good size and experience who has already played more than 120 games in the NHL. He adds significant depth to our group of defensemen," Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said in a statement.

Drewiske, 28, is in his fifth NHL season and has one goal and four points in 20 games. His career totals include four goals, 22 points and 67 penalty minutes in 126 games for Los Angeles.

Over the past few weeks, three Canadiens defense prospects -- including their first-round picks at the NHL Draft in both 2011 and 2012 -- made his NHL debut in succession: Greg Pateryn, Jarred Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu.

Beaulieu was the latest call-up from the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League, getting his audition on Montreal's third defense pairing alongside veteran Francis Bouillon. Beaulieu played 15:17 and earned his first NHL point in a 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday, but he was sent back to Hamilton following the announcement of this trade.

Drewiske has played an average of 14:28 in his 20 games this season as the Kings have dealt with injuries on their back end. But he did not play a game in Los Angeles' run to the Stanley Cup last season and he has never played more than 42 games in any of his five seasons with the Kings.

With the Kings' acquisitions of defensemen Keaton Ellerby earlier this season and Robyn Regehr from the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night, Drewiske appears to have been the odd man out.

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