Montreal Canadiens Deal Prospect Brock Trotter to Coyotes for Petteri Nokelainen

Scott WeldonCorrespondent IOctober 25, 2011

MONTREAL, CANADA - OCTOBER 24:  Petteri Nokelainen #15 of the Montreal Canadiens shoots the puck during the warm-up period in his first game as a Montreal Canadiens prior to the NHL game against the Florida Panthers  at the Bell Centre on October 24, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Panthers defeated the Canadiens 2-1.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens dealt offensive project Brock Trotter and a seventh-round pick to the Phoenix Coyotes for checking center Petteri Nokelainen and minor league defenseman Garret Stafford last Sunday, according to The Globe and Mail.

Trotter signed as a free agent with the Montreal Canadiens in July after spending a season with Riga of the KHL.

Trotter had been a center in the Canadiens organization and had developed into a quality offensive player for them at the AHL level before leaving for the KHL. In his last season in Hamilton (2009-10), he scored 36 goals and 77 points in 75 regular season games.

During the AHL playoffs, he had 19 points in 19 playoff games, second on the team only to current Hab David Desharnais. The Bulldogs made it to the Western Finals that year before being eliminated by the Texas Stars.

Hockey's Future believes Trotter is a player with a nose for the net, who has some deficiencies in his game—mostly defensive ones.

Petteri Nokelainen was a first-round pick (16th overall) of the New York Islanders back in 2004. Knee problems and surgery back in 2006 for patella tendonitis have not sped his path to the NHL.

He has played 195 games so far, and now at 26, he's starting with his fifth NHL team in Montreal. The 17 goals and 35 points he has scored to date in his career would indicate he has almost no offensive component to his game.

He played last night in Montreal and appears to be the Canadiens' attempt to address their need for a checking center.

While not a face-off wizard during his career, he is certainly having more success than Montreal's current checking center Andreas Engqvist. He may just be there to push Engqvist or to replace him. 

A slow skater, he is considered a good checking center and perhaps will be a stopgap for the Canadiens at that position. He didn't look out of place last night versus Florida.

Garret Stafford is a 31-year-old career AHL defenseman. He has only seven NHL games to his credit. He has been assigned to Hamilton and should help provide veteran organizational depth on the blue line.