Canucks acquire Garland, Ekman-Larsson for Eriksson, Beagle, Roussel and 9th overall

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 27: Oliver Ekman-Larsson #23 of the Arizona Coyotes passes the puck against the San Jose Sharks during the NHL game at Gila River Arena on March 27, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Sharks 4-0. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 27: Oliver Ekman-Larsson #23 of the Arizona Coyotes passes the puck against the San Jose Sharks during the NHL game at Gila River Arena on March 27, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Sharks 4-0. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Vancouver Canucks have pulled off a blockbuster deal on draft day.

Just before 2pm PST, the Canucks acquired blueliner Oliver Ekman-Larsson and forward Conor Garland from the Arizona Coyotes, in exchange for Loui Eriksson, Jay Beagle, Antoine Roussel, a 2022 second-round pick, a 2023 seventh-round pick, and the ninth overall selection in the upcoming 2021 NHL Entry Draft.

It was first reported that the Canucks were closing in on a deal involving the Arizona captain and the pending-RFA forward, but the full details of the transaction weren’t confirmed.

However, insider Elliotte Friedman shortly followed up on the initial report, confirming that the veteran trio and handful of draft picks were being sent back to the Coyotes in return.

With this transaction, the Canucks will be saving $12 million of cap space from Eriksson, Beagle and Roussel, who each had one year remaining on their current deals.

However, Ekman-Larsson comes with a big ticket of his own, and still has six years remaining on his original eight-year, $66 million deal that he signed with Arizona in 2018. Factor in the salary retention mentioned above, and Vancouver will be responsible for just north of $7 million per year. Arizona will only be paying $1.2 million to Ekman-Larsson, who turned 30 years old last week.

It should also be noted that Garland is set to become an RFA this offseason, having just wrapped up his most recent two-year, $1.55 million deal. Garland registered 34 goals and 44 assists over the past two seasons, and should immediately improve Vancouver’s top-six forward group. However, the 25-year-old will likely be demanding a hefty raise from his previous AAV of $775,000.

OEL has been linked to the Canucks since last season, when he agreed to waive his NMC for either Vancouver or Boston. The trade obviously never went through at the time, but conversation picked up once again this past week.

This will be the second straight year that the Canucks won’t have a first-round pick available, having given up their 2020 first-rounder to the Tampa Bay Lightning as part of the J.T. Miller trade.

The Canucks will also be without their third-round pick, which was traded away to the Dallas Stars in exchange for forward Jason Dickinson.

Arizona, who seems to be taking on every team’s financial burdens this offseason, will now have a first-round pick this year. They were originally awarded the 11th overall selection during the NHL Draft Lottery, but were forced to forfeit the pick after it was determined that they violated a league-wide policy by conducting early physical testing on 2020 draft-eligible players.

With the ninth overall pick, Arizona could have its choice from forward and Vancouver-native Kent Johnson, or even highly-skilled defencemen such as Brandt Clarke, Simon Edvinsson or Luke Hughes.

In Vancouver, there’s still lots of work to be done.

Benning will need to finalize contracts for both Garland and Dickinson, as well as franchise superstars Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes. He will also need to make decisions on pending-UFAs Alex Edler, Travis Hamonic and Brandon Sutter, while continuing to take calls on Nate Schmidt if they continue to pour in.

In other words, the fun is far from over.

Next. NHL releases 82-game schedule for 2021-22 season. dark

What are your thoughts on the blockbuster deal between Vancouver and Arizona? Make sure to drop a comment below!