We have another trade. The Coyotes, who earlier tonight cashed in some of their draft capital to move up to the 11th overall pick, are making another move. They have acquired forward Zack Kassian, the 29th overall pick, a 2025 second-rounder, and a 2024 third-rounder from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for pick 32. To put it more simply, the Oilers are moving down two spots and trading two future mid-round picks in order to clear Zack Kassian’s contract off their books.
The Oilers, desperate to improve their team after an encouraging run to the Western Conference Final, want to be active this offseason in making improvements to their roster. They have been interested in a variety of goalies, but with cap space at an absolute premium, they have now decided they’ll need some more wiggle room in order to get a deal done. Trading Kassian’s cap hit gives GM Ken Holland more room to work with as he chases free agent goalies, such as Jack Campbell, or other established players in free agency.
For the Coyotes, this move adds a few more picks to GM Bill Armstrong’s stockpile. The Coyotes add two decently valuable picks as well as the right to move up a few spots in tonight’s draft in exchange for taking on Kassian, who had six goals and 19 points in 58 games this year. If Kassian can perform well in Arizona, it’s possible that the Coyotes will have the option to retain salary on his deal in order to flip him to another club. For now, though, the main priority will be the draft picks acquired in the deal.
We knew going into this summer that teams such as Chicago and Arizona would be active in weaponizing their cap space in order to acquire future assets. Now, on the night of the draft, both teams have made moves to do exactly that.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman was first on the details.