The Senators and Avalanche made a minor swap this morning, with the Avs acquiring Max McCormick, and the Sens receiving Jean-Christophe Beaudin in exchange.
Trade: #Sens have acquired prospect Jean-Christophe Beaudin from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Max McCormick: https://t.co/YIUJOA9OTD— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) February 6, 2019
Transaction : Les #Sens ont acquis l’attaquant Jean-Christophe Beaudin de Colorado en retour de Max McCormick : https://t.co/YIUJOA9OTD
Max McCormick has bounced between the NHL and AHL for the last four seasons. In total, he has 125 points in 254 career AHL games, and 10 points in 71 NHL games, all with the Senators organization. After being a 6th-round pick (171st overall) in the 2011 draft, he failed to develop the offensive talent of his fellow Ohio State alumnus Ryan Dzingel. Instead, McCormick settled into more of a bruiser role, recroding 480 PIMs in the AHL and 78 in the NHL. It was enough that in the summer of 2017, he received a two-year extension, the second year of which was a one-way contract. Still, this year when he was waived after just one goal in 14 games, the writing was on the wall for the pending UFA.
For his part, J.C. Beaudin was a 3rd-round pick (71st overall) in the 2015 draft. In his draft+1 and draft+2 years, he went more than a point per game in the QMJHL. Last season, he split time between the AHL and ECHL, putting up seven points in 34 AHL games and 27 points in 30 ECHL games. His two-way play with the ECHL Colorado Eagles pushed the team all the way to winning the Kelly Cup, where he recorded a further 18 points in 22 games. This year the Colorado Eagles became an AHL team, and he stuck in the AHL, with 13 points in 42 games, which is 12th on the team in points. Having never heard of the guy before today, it’s hard for me to say much about him, but at 21, you’d hope a centre would put up better totals than this. He doesn’t really have the size (6’ 1”, 185 lbs) to make him stand out in spite of his offensive totals. Mile High Hockey didn’t know what to expect of him this season, putting him 18th on their Top 25 Under 25. At best, he’s a two-way centre with great passing ability. At worst, he’s a guy who doesn’t shoot nearly enough who can dominate the ECHL but is average any higher than that. The good news is, he’s only 21. And with Belleville not exactly being a league powerhouse (and continually dealing with injuries), he should get a decent opportunity to shine.
I can see why this deal went down for the Sens. From a financial point of view, McCormick was making his full NHL salary, $650k in the AHL, while Beaudin makes just $70k. Also, the Sens turned a pending UFA into a potential asset — anytime you can trade a 26-year-old who can’t make the NHL for a 21-year-old who can’t make the NHL, you probably do that. For the Avs, this deal is a little more puzzling. My best guess is that they see McCormick as a piece they can definitely use in a stretch run to the playoffs. Trading a C-tier prospect for injury insurance and a little grit is exactly what playoff-bound (or at least playoff-hopeful) teams do. It just puzzles me that any team would scout McCormick and think, “That’s what we’re missing for the playoffs.” He hasn’t been bad by any stretch this year, but he hasn’t stood out to me, and most teams have several guys almost exactly like McCormick: energy, some fighting, willing to play whatever role, limited offence. The Sens did what they wanted to: shed salary, and turned a potential lost asset into one under team control for a few years. Now we wait and see what other trades happen.