Former Trail Smoke Eaters captain dealt to Montreal Canadiens

Former Trail Smoke Eaters captain Jake Lucchini was traded from the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

Montreal Canadiens general manager, Marc Bergevin, announced the acquisition of forwards Joseph Blandisi and Jake Lucchini from the Pittsburgh Penguins, in exchange for Riley Barber and Phil Varone. Both players will report to the AHL’s Laval Rocket.

Related read: NHL Penguins ink deal with former Smoke Eater, Jake Lucchini

Lucchini, 24, played 53 games with Wilkes-Barre Penguins of the AHL this season, collecting 15 points (7 goals, 8 assists) and 10 penalty minutes. The five-foot-11, 183-pound forward agreed to a one-year, entry-level contract with Pittsburgh on March 11, 2019, and joined the AHL affiliate.

Lucchini played three seasons with the Smoke Eaters and led the team in scoring in his final year in 2015 netting 35 goals and 83 points. The Trail native went on to star with the Michigan Tech Huskies and was their captain, MVP, leading scorer and Hobey Baker nominee in 2018-19.

Blandisi, 25, played 21 games in the NHL this season with Pittsburgh, registering five points (2 goals, 3 assists), in addition to amassing 10 penalty minutes. The Markham, ON native also registered 14 points (6 goals, 8 assists) in 26 games with Wilkes-Barre (AHL). Blandisi was a sixth-round pick of the Colorado Avalanche in the 2012 NHL Draft (162nd overall). The 5’11” and 187-pound forward boasts 101 games of NHL experience with New Jersey, Anaheim and Pittsburgh.

Riley Barber has amassed 13 goals, 18 assists and 31 points in 39 games with the Rocket this season. He also suited up for nine games with the Canadiens. Varone collected 14 points (4 goals, 10 assists) in 27 games with Laval. Barber and Varone both agreed to one-year, two-way contracts with the Canadiens last summer.



sports@trailtimes.ca

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