While overshadowed by the news that Mike Smith will miss significant time, the Arizona Coyotes made a minor trade this afternoon by acquiring Christian Thomas from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Lucas Lessio.
Thomas, a 2010 2nd round pick by the New York Rangers, has two assists in five games with the Canadiens this year, and one goal and two assists in 26 career NHL games between the Rangers and Canadiens.
In the American Hockey League, Thomas has seven goals and seven assists in 18 appearances this year. His best AHL season was his rookie campaign when he put up 19 goals and 16 assists with the Connecticut Whale. He will likely report to the Springfield Falcons initially, where he will help bolster the team's depth at right wing.
Thomas has terrific hands and a great shot, but got stuck in a deep Montreal Canadiens' system. SB Nation's Montreal affiliate - Habs Eyes on the Prize - considered Thomas the team's 14th best prospect under 25 years old.
The trade marks the end of Lessio's time with Arizona, during which he produced two goals and three assists in the NHL in 29 career appearances. He lit up the AHL in his rookie debut with 29 goals and 25 assists, but ultimately fell down the depth chart as Max Domi and Anthony Duclair flourished.
This move seems to be a win-win for both teams. The Coyotes get more depth on the right side and a player with additional potential in Thomas, while the Habs bolster their depth on the left side and get a little big bigger with Lessio.