The Nashville Predators have traded Emil Pettersson to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Laurent Dauphin and Adam Helewka. This move will free up a contract spot for the Coyotes, who were sitting at the 50-contract limit. Pettersson is the older brother of Vancouver Canucks star rookie Elias Pettersson.
Dauphin, the only one of the three to spend any time in the NHL, is also likely the most interesting part of the deal. The 23-year old forward was selected 39th overall in 2013 and has suited up 35 times for the Coyotes over the last few seasons. While he hasn’t been able to find much offensive success at the NHL level—four points in those 35 career games—he’s at least been a consistent enough producer at the minor league level and still has time to develop into a depth option for the Predators. Unfortunately he is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in the summer, and is no longer waiver-exempt. That very well could leave him without a qualifying offer if Nashville doesn’t see enough from him over the next few months.
Pettersson, 25, has all the same traits as his younger brother if a little less polished. A skilled, undersized forward he has 79 points in 121 AHL games since coming over from Sweden in 2017. There’s little chance that Pettersson is going to be a big NHL contributor, but the Coyotes at least got some minor league depth out of a trade that was more about creating deadline flexibility than anything else.
That flexibility is important, given the trade deadline and college free agency over the next few months. The Coyotes couldn’t have added another player without opening up a spot, something they may have to do again before long. Remember that trades can still actually happen after the deadline, those players are just no longer eligible for playoff hockey.