The Vegas Golden Knights have acquired forward Nick Cousins from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Vegas’ 2021 fourth-round draft pick.
NHL insider Elliotte Friedman was the first to report the news.
Cousins, a former third-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers back in 2011, has 40 goals and 95 points in 317 career games with the Flyers, Coyotes and Canadiens. He has nine goals and 22 points, four of which have come on the man advantage, in 58 games this year. He’s on track to surpass his career-high 27 points from last season in Arizona.
The 26-year-old native of Belleville, Ontario is a gritty and tenacious forward with two-way skill and an offensive streak. He adds bottom-six depth and stability for Vegas, and he brings versatility with an ability to play center and wing. This will be especially helpful with the departure of Cody Eakin and injuries to Alex Tuch and Nicolas Roy.
Cousins ranked near the top among Montreal forwards in Corsi For percentage (54.52), Shots For percentage (55.06), Expected Goals For percentage (55.14) and and High-Danger CF% (54.31).
His individual shots-per-60 rate of 7.9 would rank seventh among Vegas forwards, and his iCF/60 (12.69) would rank eighth.
He’s not the flashiest player, but Cousins averaged 13:28 of ice time per game in Montreal and isn’t afraid to go to the dirty areas or drop the gloves. He has an underrated shot and provides insurance for a Knights team that, at one point this season, had to use defenseman Jon Merrill as a forward.
Cousins’ contract carries a $1 million cap hit; he will become a restricted free agent this summer.