SUNRISE, Fla. – It was no secret that Bill Zito and the Florida Panthers were looking to bolster the team’s defensive ranks ahead of the NHL’s annual trade deadline.
On Saturday, that idea became a reality as Florida acquired 26-year-old Brandon Montour (he turns 27 on Sunday) in exchange for a 2021 third-round pick.
The deal was first reported by Sportsnet 650′s Shane O’Brien.
“Brandon is a capable and talented right-shot defenseman who will have an immediate impact on our club,” Panthers General Manager Bill Zito said in a release from the team.
Montour is playing in his fifth season after being selected in the second round of the 2014 NHL Draft by Anaheim.
He is currently playing on a one-year deal worth $3.85 million, which means he’ll be an unrestricted free agent once the season ends.
Montour is a decent defender and solid shot-blocker with above-average offensive skills. He can help out on the power play and penalty kill if needed, something he’s done through much of his career.
Good at getting shots through to the net and not afraid to skate with the puck, Montour could fit in nicely with the style of play incorporated by Panthers Head Coach Joel Quenneville.
He’s logged 14 points (5-9-14) in 38 games with Buffalo this season.
“His two-way acumen and ability to play important minutes make him an exciting addition to the Panthers,” Zito said.
On Thursday, Florida acquired forward Lucas Wallmark and defenseman Lucas Carlsson from the Chicago Blackhawks for Brett Connolly, Riley Stillman and Henrik Borgstrom.
Quenneville said Saturday that Wallmark and Carlsson are expected to join the team next week when the Panthers are in Tampa to wrap up their current road trip.
It is not known yet when Montour will join his new squad.
The NHL Trade Deadline is Monday at 3 p.m.