- Greg Wyshynski is ESPN’s senior NHL writer.
MONTREAL — The Montreal Canadiens acquired 21-year-old Chicago Blackhawks center Kirby Dach in an NHL draft night shocker, earning a loud reaction from the home fans inside Bell Centre on Thursday night.
The transaction was the result of two trades. Montreal sent defenseman Alexander Romanov and the 98th overall pick to the New York Islanders for the 13th overall pick in the first round. They then flipped the No. 13 pick and the 66th overall pick to the Blackhawks for Dach, who was the third overall selection in the 2019 draft and a restricted free agent.
Dach had 26 points in 70 games for the Blackhawks last season, his third in the NHL.
Many were surprised to hear that the 6-foot-4 center was available during the Blackhawks’ offseason, which saw them trade winger Alex DeBrincat to the Ottawa Senators before the draft. But Chicago wanted a first-round pick in the 2022 draft after sending its own pick to Columbus in last year’s Seth Jones trade. The Blackhawks acquired Ottawa’s No. 7 pick in the deal for DeBrincat. The key to getting a second one was apparently Dach.
Chicago ended up selecting defenseman Kevin Korchinski with the No. 7 pick and center Frank Nazar with the No. 13 pick.
Romanov, 22, was drafted 38th overall by Montreal in 2018 and just completed his second NHL season. He had 13 points in 79 games last season. He is a restricted free agent.
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