Defenseman David Schlemko was traded to the Montreal Canadiens by the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday for a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.
The Golden Knights selected the 30-year-old defenseman in the NHL Expansion Draft on Wednesday. Montreal had an opening on defense after losing Alexei Emelin to the Golden Knight in the expansion draft and trading Nathan Beaulieu to the Buffalo Sabres on June 17.
"We lost [Emelin] in the expansion draft and we felt we needed to replace his minutes," Canadiens general manger Marc Bergevin told the Montreal Gazette. "Schlemko is a prototype defenseman for today's game. He skates well, he moves the puck well. He has some poise and the price was right for us."
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Schlemko had 18 points (two goals, 16 assists) in 62 games with the San Jose Sharks this season. He had three points (two goals, one assists) in six Stanley Cup Playoff games against the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference First Round.
"[Vegas] drafted 30 players and I knew there was a possibility I would be traded," Schlemko told the Gazette. "My agent called me a few hours after the draft and said it looked like I was getting flipped and I found out this morning it was Montreal."
Schlemko has 87 points (17 goals, 70 assists) in 360 games with the Arizona Coyotes, Dallas Stars, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils and Sharks. He has three years remaining on a contract that has an average annual value of $2.1 million, according to CapFriendly.com.