The Coyotes moved on from captain and defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, along with fan-favorite forward Conor Garland, in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks on July 23.
The ’Yotes received forwards Loui Eriksson, Jay Beagle and Antoine Roussel, as well as the ninth overall pick in this year’s draft, which was subsequently used on forward Dylan Guenther. The Coyotes also received a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 seventh-round pick in return.
“I want to thank Oliver,” Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong said. “He is a class act. He’s given 10 years of his career to this organization. I wish him the best.
“Also, Conor is just somebody who has a tremendous amount of energy and will to play the game and has willed his way all the way to the NHL. I want to wish those guys the best in Vancouver.”
Ekman-Larsson was one of the longest-tenured Coyotes before his departure to Vancouver. The captain has six years left on the eight-year contract he signed with Arizona in 2018.
Garland was a top goal scorer for the Coyotes the past few years and will head to Vancouver as a restricted free agent.
It truly is the start of a new era for the Coyotes, as they bring in a plethora of draft picks and a mesh of young stars and wily veterans as they build for the future.
“The thing that I love about the guys coming in is two of them have won championships,” Armstrong said. “What we need is a little grit and a little toughness, and we got that with Roussel. That also fits our new culture and where we’re moving to as an organization.”
The Coyotes are ecstatic that Guenther fell to them with the ninth pick, as he was projected to go higher. He brings a versatile skill set on the offensive side of the puck.
“We felt very, very comfortable with not only the top-end talent that we are getting but the quality person we’re getting, too. It fits our culture and where we are moving to,” Armstrong said.
Guenther has similar sentiments toward the Coyotes’ organization and his upcoming career with them.
“To hear my name called was just a huge honor, and I’m pumped to be a Coyote,” Guenther said. “They’re an up-and-coming team and they made some big moves today, and I’m excited to be a part of the future.”