After sitting defenceman Ben Chiarot for precautionary reasons for their 6-3 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday, the Montreal Canadiens dealt Chiarot to the Florida Panthers Wednesday night.
Montreal Canadiens general manager, Kent Hughes, announced on Wednesday that Ben Chiarot had been traded to the Panthers in exchange for forward Tyler Smilanic, a first-round pick in 2023 and a fourth-round pick in 2022 previously acquired from the New York Rangers.
Per Eric Engels of Sportsnet, that 2023 first-round pick is unprotected.
There is no protection on the first-round pick coming back to MTL from Florida in the Chiarot deal
— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) March 17, 2022
Chiarot signed a three-year contract with the Montreal Canadiens on July 4, 2019. The defenseman recorded 46 points in 164 games with Montreal. The 30-year-old, 6-foot-4, 234-pound rearguard had seven goals and 11 assists in 54 games with the Canadiens this season. Last season, Chiarot played a pivotal role in the run to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final for the Montreal Canadiens. Partnered with Shea Weber and playing the role of the physical, stay-at-home defenceman, he helped shutdown the best scoring threats the Habs faced as they reached Game 5 of the final. He finished the a goal and two assists in 22 games in the postseason but was a force to be reckoned with.
As for what the Canadiens will be getting in Smilanic, here’s MHN Canadiens beat reporter and prospects expert Marco D’Amico’s take on the Quinnipiac forward:
“Ty Smilanic is a former 3rd round pick (74th overall) for the Panthers in 2020 and has spent the last two season in the NCAA playing at Quinnipiac University. He has above average skills and plays a relentless forechek, but simply hasn’t taken off like many thought when he was playing for the United States National Development Team in his draft year. The Montreal Canadiens must feel like they can help him develop more optimally, as he fits right into general Manager Kent Hughes’ vision of having a team predicated on speed and skill. He is by no means a can’t miss prospect, but there is potential for him to turn into an interesting player under Montreal’s tutelage.”