Sabres acquire defenseman Nathan Beaulieu from Canadiens

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Sabres have acquired defenseman Nathan Beaulieu from the Montreal Canadiens for a third-round pick.

Buffalo sent the 68th overall pick in the 2017 draft to Montreal for the pending restricted free agent. The teams announced the trade Saturday prior to the NHL's trade freeze for the Vegas expansion draft.

The 24-year-old set career highs with four goals, 24 assists and 28 points last season, his fifth in the NHL. Montreal was in danger of losing Beaulieu in the expansion draft, while Buffalo has room to protect him.

Beaulieu immediately improves the Sabres' blue line under new coach Phil Housley, a Hall of Fame defenseman. He had played 225 games in Montreal, and Canadiens owner Geoff Molson tweeted, "Thank you Nate for everything" after the trade.

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