In the first trade of NHL Draft day, the Arizona Coyotes are acquiring one of the Chicago Blackhawks’ top defenseman.
Niklas Hjalmarsson has been traded to the Coyotes, in exchange the Hawks have acquired defenseman Connor Murphy and forward Laurent Dauphin.
The deal is a shocker at first, but it makes total sense with the Blackhawks’ current salary cap issues. They also made a separate trade today, sending dynamic forward Artemi Panarin to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Shortly after the trade with Chicago, the Coyotes then acquired center Derek Stepan and goaltender Anti Raanta from the New York Rangers in exchange for the 7th overall pick in this year’s draft and prospect defenseman Anthony DeAngelo.
In all, the Coyotes stole the desert thunder away from the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday morning, adding a No. 1 goaltender, a No. 1 center and a stay-at-home No. 2 defenseman to play alongside Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Arizona was a team on the rise with all of their young talent developing, and now they have instantly made themselves into contenders in the Pacific Division again by adding these perfectly fitting veterans.