The Coyotes enter next week’s draft loaded with picks, to put it lightly. The team currently has nine second-round selections and nine third-rounders over the next three years. Accordingly, Chris Johnston reports in TSN’s latest Insider Trading segment (video link) that Arizona is looking to deal from some of that future draft capital. Instead of being a dumping ground for bad contracts as they have been in recent years, it appears as if their focus has turned to trying to acquire better pieces who could be moved because the other team is forced into making a move to get into compliance. Accordingly, instead of receiving picks for taking on the player the other team wants to get rid of as they’ve done several times before, they’re flipping that plan around.
Elsewhere in the West:
- With Ethan Bear needing shoulder surgery, it is no longer a guarantee that the Canucks will tender the blueliner a qualifying offer next week, reports CHEK’s Rick Dhaliwal (Twitter link). Bear is owed a $2.3MM qualifier but is set to miss at least the first couple of months of the season. With cap space still at somewhat of a premium for Vancouver, that might be too high of a price tag for their liking. Meanwhile, Dhaliwal adds that the Canucks are working on a new contract for pending UFA defenseman Noah Juulsen and have reached out with an offer to pending UFA rearguard Kyle Burroughs. As for goalie Collin Delia, the door isn’t closed on a return but the odds of him re-signing appear to be dropping.
- Also from Dhaliwal (Twitter link), he recently updated Tanner Pearson’s situation. The winger has now undergone seven surgeries as a result of his wrist injury and it remains to be seen if he’ll be able to return to the ice. The NHLPA indicated back in January that they were looking into how Pearson’s injury was handled and the continued uncertainty can’t be helping things. Pearson has one year left on his deal which carries a $3.25MM AAV. At this point, it looks like he’ll at least be starting next season on LTIR.
- Avalanche prospect Ivan Zhigalov is heading home next season as Yunost Minsk in Belarus announced that they’ve signed the netminder to a one-year contract. The 20-year-old was the final pick in the draft last June with the 225th selection and spent this past season with OHL Kingston, posting a save percentage of .889 with a 3.59 GAA in 45 games. Since Zhigalov was selected out of major junior, Colorado only holds his NHL rights through next season.