Vancouver Trades Zack Kassian, Pick to Montreal for Brandon Prust

The Vancouver Canucks and Montreal Canadiens made a trade between bottom-six forwards on Wednesday as Vancouver shipped Zack Kassian and a fifth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft for Brandon Prust.

News of the trade was broken by Hockey Night in Canada and Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

(Note it was actually Montreal that gets the pic as Friedman later points out.)

Zack Kassian spent 171 games with the Vancouver Canucks before being shipped to Montreal on July 1st, 2015.
Zack Kassian spent 171 games with the Vancouver Canucks before being shipped to Montreal on July 1st, 2015.

Kassian was dealt before as he and defenseman Marc-André Gragnani were traded from Buffalo for forward Cody Hodgson and blueliner Alexander Sulzer at the 2012 trade deadline.

Kassian totaled 32 goals as a member of the Canucks, and his contract is up at the end of the 2015-16 season. Kassian finished with 10 goals in an injury-riddled 42-game campaign with Vancouver.

He had flashes of brilliance, but never could find the consistency that made him a member various U18 and U20 national teams for Canada.

Perhaps a change of scenery will help Kassian recapture the form of his career-high 14 goals in 2013-14.

(Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports)
(Brandon Prust was traded to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Zack Kassian and fifth-round pick in 2016. – Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports)

Prust joined the Canadiens on July 1, 2012 by signing a four-year deal after a successful stint with the New York Rangers. Prust totaled 30 goals in his three seasons with the Habs, including four goals and 14 assists this year.

Prust is a professional agitator and someone that can be physical when needed. He’s also a locker room guy and one of the more respected players in the organization. His departure was met with sadness by the Montreal faithful, as Prust had endeared himself to the community.

Prust is a hard worker and will give Vancouver some toughness that they need.

Follow all of Wednesday’s free agent signings with The Hockey Writers’ Free Agent Tracker.

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