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Golden Knights Trade Talk

Former Golden Knight Suzuki Now Captain Of Canadiens



Former Vegas Golden Knight Nick Suzuki Montreal Canadiens captain (Photo- Marco D'Amico, Montreal Hockey Now)

Former Vegas Golden Knight draft pick, Nick Suzuki, has been named the 31st captain in Montreal Canadiens team history. The announcement was made at the Canadiens’ annual golf outing on Monday with Brendan Gallagher and Joel Edmundsson being named assistant captains.

Suzuki was drafted by the Golden Knights in their first-ever NHL Entry-Level Draft with the 13th overall pick in 2017. He was traded to the Canadiens in Sept. of 2018 along with Tomas Tatar and a 2019 second-round pick (Samuel Fagemo) for Max Pacioretty.

The pick used to draft Fagemo was traded to the Los Angeles Kings for picks no. 64 (Mattias Norlinder) and no. 126 (Jacob LeGuerrier) at the 2019 NHL Draft.

Since the trade, Suzuki has emerged as the Canadiens’ top-line center and even faced off against his former team, the Golden Knights, during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. This past season he scored a career-high 61 points after back-to-back 41-point seasons in the two years prior.

At just 23 years old, Suzuki now has high expectations as the captain of the oldest and most prestigious NHL franchise ever.

“I want to be someone who comes to work every day and leads by example, every day. That speaks at the right moment and knows what to say,” said Suzuki on what type of captain he wants to be. “I’ve been able to learn from a lot of great leaders in the past, so I’ll take that with me,” Suzuki told Montreal Hockey Now.

It’s easy to look back on this trade and say that the Canadiens won it given they have Suzuki not only locked up as their captain but to an 8-year $63 million deal worth $7.875 million AAV per season. The trade now also fittingly features two captains as Pacioretty was the Canadiens’ captain for three years. Shea Weber is here too…

But in his four years with the VGK, Patches scored 97 goals, and 97 assists for 194 points in 224 games played and 30 points in 36 playoff games. He was far from a dead weight and was one of the team’s most consistent scorers during his time with the team.

However, this past summer, primarily because of cap and injury reasons, Pacioretty was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes along with Dylan Coghlan for future considerations. Pacioretty was coming off a rough season where even though he was only two points off being a point-per-game player, he missed 43 games due to injury. Now he is facing yet another month-to-month injury with the Hurricanes and will be out roughly six months with an achilles tendon injury.

Nick Suzuki never played an NHL game with the Golden Knights, but some fans may be enticed to look at this trade negatively, given his success with the Habs. I personally find this trade to be a solid deal at the time, but Suzuki’s impact has worsened things as time has gone on.

Updated Trade Outlook

Canadiens Receive:

  • Three seasons of Nick Suzuki so far (143 points in 209 NHL GP)
  • Three seasons of Tomas Tatar (149 points in 198 NHL GP)
  • 2019 second-round pick (traded to Kings)
    • Became 3rd round pick Mattias Norlinder (1 point in 6 NHL GP) and 5th round pick Jacob LeGuerrier (0 NHL GP).

Golden Knights Receive:

  • Four seasons of Max Pacioretty (194 points in 224 NHL GP)
  • Followed by future considerations/cap space.