Conor Garland and Oliver Ekman-Larsson have been dealt to the Vancouver Canucks, with the Arizona Coyotes receiving Antoine Roussel, Jay Beagle, Loui Eriksson, this year’s ninth-overall draft selection, a 2022 second-round pick, and a 2023 seventh-round pick in return. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman was the first to report the extent of the deal, while John Gambadoro was first to report the trade. Arizona retains 12 percent of Ekman-Larsson’s $8.25 million cap hit.
Okay…OEL and Garland for Beagle, Eriksson, Roussel a 1st tonight, a 2nd (next year) and a 7th. ARIZ retains 12 per cent of OEL salary
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 23, 2021
Coyotes Trade Conor Garland, Ekman-Larsson
The just-turned 25-year old was arguably the Coyotes’ best skater last season. He has certainly been one of the most productive, scoring 12 goals and 39 points in 49 games. Beyond that, the fifth-round pick from 2015 has also been an excellent value. Per CapFriendly, Garland is finishing the second of a two-year deal worth just $775,000. He’ll be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights, so his new team is going to have to take a substantial raise into account. It had been rumoured right here on Last Word on Hockey. That’s in addition to Ekman-Larsson, but Vancouver shipping out three large contracts certainly helps the cap intake.
Worth the Wait
Garland was drafted from the Moncton Wildcats after scoring 35 goals and 129 points in 67 games. He followed that with a 16-game run in the playoffs, getting 25 points there. He percolated in the AHL for two years before getting the call from Arizona in 2018-19, playing 47 games with the big club. His 13 goals earned him his current two-year deal and showed the NHL that despite his slight build – he’s listed at 5′-10″ and 165 pounds – he can produce at a top level. That production matches his ice time in his three years with Arizona, currently near 18 minutes per game. He’s well earned that time, consistently having a very good Corsi rating year after year despite a challenging goal differential over the past three seasons.
What This Means for the Future
Arizona has to know what they’re losing, here. At 25, Garland isn’t likely to improve his skills from here, but they are already just fine. He’s a top power-play threat for them, able to play either wing. His versatility isn’t just limited to his position, either. As he moved up the team hierarchy, he switched from being the finisher to getting the puck to his linemates. Given the turmoil surrounding the team, moving Conor Garland is a big sign that they are looking at improving far into the future, not just next season. They’ll try and squeeze some value out of Eriksson, Beagle, and Roussel, but the ninth overall pick is crucial to a barren prospect pipeline.