Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Montreal Canadiens made a big splash just before Wednesday's trade deadline, acquiring sniper Thomas Vanek from the New York Islanders.
The Canadiens sent forward prospect Sebastian Collberg to New York and also will part with a second-round pick in 2014 if they qualify for the playoffs this spring. The Isles will send a fifth-rounder in 2014 back to Montreal should Montreal make the postseason.
A proven goal scorer, Vanek has 21 markers and 32 assists over 60 games with the Islanders and Buffalo Sabres this season. Vanek entered 2013-14 with the Sabres before getting dealt to the New York Islanders in October for forward Matt Moulson, a first-round pick in 2014 and a second-rounder in 2015.
The 30-year-old Austrian winger is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer, but he could help Montreal in its push to the playoffs this spring. The Canadiens enter Wednesday in second place in the Atlantic Division.
Vanek was selected by Buffalo with the fifth overall selection of the 2003 draft and has tallied 30 or more goals in four NHL seasons. He has amassed 271 goals and 270 assists for 541 points in 645 games.
The 20-year-old Collberg, a second-round pick (33rd overall) by Montreal in 2012, played this season with Frolunda of the Swedish Hockey League.