Arizona Coyotes trade Oliver Ekman-Larsson to Vancouver Canucks as part of multiplayer, multipick swap

The Arizona Coyotes traded captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson to the Vancouver Canucks in a multiplayer deal that's as notable for its salary cap implications as its on-ice impact.

The Coyotes sent the 30-year-old defenseman and forward Conor Garland to Vancouver for winger Loui Eriksson, center Jay Beagle, winger Antoine Roussel, the Canucks' first-round pick (ninth overall) in Friday night's draft, as well as a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 seventh-rounder.

The Coyotes had to forfeit their own first-round pick, 11th overall, this season due to a violation of the NHL's combine testing policy. They later used the ninth pick Friday to select winger Dylan Guenther.

The trade was an exchange of some of the more problematic contracts on both teams.

Ekman-Larsson is entering the third season of an eight-year, $66 million deal that carries an $8.25 million cap hit through 2026-27. It was signed by former general manager John Chayka, who was replaced by current GM Bill Armstrong.

The Coyotes are retaining $990,000 annually on Ekman-Larsson's contract as part of the deal. The team tried to move Ekman-Larsson's contract last offseason, with the defenseman willing to waive his no-movement clause for either Vancouver or the Boston Bruins, but a trade never materialized to the Coyotes' satisfaction.

In exchange, the Canucks sent the Coyotes three players in the last seasons of regrettable contracts: Eriksson ($6 million average annual value), who had a six-year contract; Beagle ($3 million AAV), who had a four-year deal; and Roussel ($3 million AAV), who also had a four-year deal. All three players had trade protection and were signed as free agents by current Vancouver GM Jim Benning.

Ekman-Larsson has played all 11 NHL seasons with the Coyotes, who selected him sixth overall in the 2009 NHL draft. He has 388 points in 769 games, but has just 54 points in 112 games over the past two seasons.

"(Ekman-Larsson) is a tremendous player and person, and we wish him and Conor the best of luck in the future,'' Armstrong said. "We are very pleased to acquire the ninth overall draft choice in this year's NHL draft along with Loui, Antoine and Jay."

Garland, 25, is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights, joining a parade of players with that contract status who have been traded this offseason. He has 96 points in 164 career games, all with Arizona. Last season he had 12 goals and 27 assists in 49 games.

The move continues an offseason in which the Coyotes have collected draft picks while taking on other teams' problem contracts. Along with these three players, they acquired Islanders forward Andrew Ladd and Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere. In total, the Coyotes added $22.6 million in salary and seven draft choices for the effort.