The Vancouver Canucks have dealt their first-round pick in Friday’s draft to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for right-winger Conor Garland and defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
The trade also includes Vancouver forwards Jay Beagle, Loui Eriksson and Antoine Roussel, the Canucks’ second-round pick in 2022 and its seventh-round pick in 2023.
Garland, 25, had 29 points (12 goals, 27 assists) in 49 games with the Coyotes last season while the 30-year-old Ekman-Larsson put up 24 points (three goals, 21 assists) in 46 appearances.
The trade will see the two clubs swap some big salaries. Ekman-Larsson has six-years left on his deal with an annual cap hit of US$8.25 million, while Beagle, Eriksson and Roussel will combine for a cap hit of US$12 million next season.
Arizona lost its first round pick in this year’s draft when the NHL sanctioned the team for violating the league’s combine testing policy in 2020.
The Canucks have lots of work left to do as the draft continues Saturday with the second round. Vancouver still holds the No. 41, 137, 140, 169, 178 and 201 picks this year.
It’s the second year in a row that the Canucks won’t have a first-round pick. Last year, Vancouver’s first selection came in the third round when it took Finnish defenceman Joni Jurmo 82nd overall.
Earlier this week, Vancouver dealt its third-round selection (No. 73) to the Dallas Stars in exchange for forward Jason Dickinson ahead of the expansion draft roster freeze last week.
The club was handed the ninth pick after finishing the pandemic-condensed season last in the all-Canadian North Division with a 23-29-4 record.
It was a tough campaign for Vancouver, which suffered a COVID-19 outbreak in late March that saw 21 players and four coaching staff test positive for the virus.
The Canadian Press