Nobody saw this coming.
The Canadiens have traded forward Jiri Sekac to the Anaheim Ducks in return for 6′ 220lb left wing Devante Smith-Pelly.
At the age of 22, Smith-Pelly will add to the bottom end depth of the Canadiens. Perhaps the best comparison might be Dale Weise. He’s a right shot, plays either wing, is a good skater, a gritty, solid checker , has a hard shot and is very difficult to knock down. Despite his limited ice time, he led the Ducks in hits with 147, which would make him second on the Canadiens behind only Alexei Emelin’s 157.
Smith-Pelly was a second round draft choice of the Ducks in 2010. In his first full season with Anaheim, he has 5 goals, 12 assists in 54 games after scoring 27 goals and 43 points in 55 games last season with the AHL Norfolk Admirals. During last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs he led all-Anaheim goalscorers with five over 12 games.
Smith-Pelly is on the first of a two year 800-thousand dollar contract. He will be a restricted free agent in July of 2016. He is expected to join the Canadiens Wednesday in Columbus. He will be given uniform #21.
While he was not public about it, Sekac has not been happy about the way he was being used by the Canadiens coaching staff. He has had his rookie growing pains in Montreal. Early in the season he was a healthy scratch for seven straight games and he recently he had been relegated to limited fourth line duty and left out of the lineup twice over the last five games. He has not goals his last 21 games and only one point his last 18. Sekac was destined to be a healthy scratch again Tuesday night against St. Louis with Alex Galchenyuk being moved over to right wing.