The Montreal Canadiens have traded away defender Joe Morrow to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. The Canadiens also traded a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for defender Mike Reilly.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) February 26, 2018
It was a fairly quiet trade deadline for the Canadiens who were in the news for weeks with potential blockbuster trades available to them at the deadline.
With players like Alex Galchenyuk, Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec and Andrew Shaw the notable names mentioned, it was hard to imagine anybody on the Canadiens being untouchable as the deadline approached. In the end, the Canadiens moved on from defenseman Jakub Jerabek, long-time veteran forward Tomas Plekanec and Morrow to acquire future assets.
The trading of Plekanec was the biggest one for the Habs given his long-time tenure with the club and the return that the Canadiens got for him. Another interesting transaction tree came in the addition of Reilly and the subtraction of Jerabek. Acquiring a fifth-round pick from the Washington Capitals in the Jerabek trade, the Canadiens would take their surplus of selections in that round to acquire Reilly at the deadline.
In 38 games with the Minnesota Wild this season, Reilly has scored two goals and 10 points from the back-end. If his name is familiar, it’s likely because you’re remembering Reilly’s father, Michael J. Reilly, who was drafted in the eight-round of the 1977 NHL Draft by the Canadiens. While the younger Reilly will likely find himself in the Canadiens lineup immediately, his father never suited up for the Canadiens.
Morrow Sent to the Jets
For the Winnipeg Jets, the addition of Morrow is a depth move that will help them through a long postseason run. While the Canadiens are patiently waiting for the NHL Draft Lottery, the Jets have aspirations of winning their first Stanley Cup in franchise history this season.
With the addition of Stastny taking the world by surprise earlier in the day, the Jets are clearly serious about loading up for this run. While the Morrow move may not seem significant in comparison, adding a depth blueliner is never a bad thing, especially with that blueliner has postseason experience; albeit very little experience with five games last season in Boston.
Morrow has scored five goals and 11 points in 38 games with the Canadiens this season after signing with the club in the offseason. One of the major pieces of the Tyler Seguin trade, Morrow has finally started to find consistent ice time in an NHL lineup with the Canadiens as of late.
Despite being a first-round pick in 2011, Morrow’s inability to take the next step in his development has plagued him to this point in his career. He has the ability to play a solid depth role, though his future as a top-four defender is probably unlikely at this point.