That didn’t take long.
Just hours after the trade freeze ended the Arizona Coyotes acquired defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere from the Philadelphia Flyers, along with second and seventh round picks in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, boosting the blue line in Arizona while allowing the Flyers to get some significant salary off the books.
Gostisbehere played 41 games last season with the Flyers, recording 20 points while averaging nearly 20 minutes of ice time per game. The veteran has two years left on his deal, with an annual average salary hit of $4.5 million.
Addition, But No Subtraction
GM Bill Armstrong made yet another deal in which the Coyotes didn’t give up a single thing, taking Gostisbehere’s salary on from Philadelphia while also continuing to stockpile draft picks for the future. The 28-year-old defenseman was drafted 78th overall by the Flyers in the 2012 NHL entry draft, and has been a solid presence since joining the league as a regular in the 2015-16 season.
That season he was selected to the NHL All-Rookie Team, finished second in voting for the Calder Memorial Trophy for the league’s rookie of the year, which was ultimately won by Artermi Panarin. He actually finished ahead of Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel and Dylan Larkin in voting.
“We are very pleased to acquire Shayne,” Armstrong said in a release. “He is a very good offensive defenseman and an excellent skater. He will be a solid addition to our blueline this season and will be a key power play player for us.”
Gostisbehere has been a steady presence for the Flyers throughout his tenure, with his best season to date coming in 2017-18 when he recorded 65 points in 78 games, including 13 goals. That season he finished 10th in Norris Trophy voting while establishing himself as a Top-4 defenseman.
The deal comes just days after Armstrong picked up forward Andrew Ladd from the New York Islanders along with a second round pick in this year’s entry draft, a conditional second-round pick in 2022 and a conditional third-round pick in 2023.
Stocking Up On Future Draft Picks, All Eyes On Rebuilding
It’s no secret the Coyotes, entering the throes of another rebuild, need to add as many future picks as possible considering they will not be selecting in the first round of this year’s entry draft. As of right now they have seven picks in this year’s draft (including three second-rounders), and 10 picks in the 2022 draft, including four second rounders. Those assets could certainly be leveraged in certain deals, as well.
Though Arizona may not be done dealing, Armstrong has done his best to bolster the team’s chances of starting to re-stock the proverbial cupboard, all things considered. There may be more to come, and we’ll keep our eyes peeled, but for now, the Coyotes have put themselves in a strong draft position moving forward.
A die-hard hockey fan in the desert, and proud Iowa State alum. Covers the Detroit Red Wings for The Hockey Writers.