Arizona Coyotes free up contract slot with Emil Pettersson trade

The Arizona Coyotes today announced a trade with the Nashville Predators that saw the club acquire Swedish centre, Emil Pettersson.

The trade saw the Arizona Coyotes send forwards Laurent Dauphin and Adam Helewka to Nashville, freeing up a contract slot for the Coyotes.

The maximum number of contracts allowed in the NHL is currently 50, with the Coyotes reaching that point this season.

With the Emil Pettersson trade, the Coyotes now have a bit more freedom if they decide to make more moves ahead of the trade deadline, something that could become a reality no matter where the team sits in the standings.

Coyotes Get
Emil Pettersson
Predators Get
Laurent Dauphin, Adam Helewka

The trade also represents the second time the Arizona Coyotes have parted ways with Dauphin, who was second round (39th overall) selection by the team in the 2013 draft.

The first time Dauphin was traded by the Coyotes was when he was sent to the Chicago Blackhawks in the deal for Niklas Hjalmarsson, before returning to the desert in the Anthony Duclair trade.

Helewka, meanwhile, is also familiar with being moved elsewhere – having originally joined the Arizona Coyotes in the deal that sent defenceman Kyle Wood to the San Jose Sharks, the team that selected Helewka in the fourth round (106th overall) in 2015.

Both Dauphin and Helewka were key pieces for the Coyotes’ AHL affiliates, the Tucson Roadrunners, with only Dauphin ever making an appearance for the NHL club.

In return for the two AHL regulars, the Coyotes receive a solid AHL centre in the form of Emil Pettersson – who has currently registered 79 points (24 goals, 55 assists) in 121 regular season appearances.

Pettersson is in the final year of his entry-level contract, holding a cap hit of just $742,500 this season before becoming an RFA in the summer.

The 25-year-old might have an opportunity to step up to the NHL club with the number of injuries being experienced by the Coyotes, but the deal is more about shifting contracts in order to free up extra room.

The Coyotes could very well be surprise buyers at the trade deadline this season, with the playoffs still largely within reach despite the recent slump in form.

There are a number of big-name players expected to be moved by the deadline and the Arizona Coyotes could be primed to make a handful of deals to tweak their roster in hopes of pushing for the playoffs or acquiring picks and pieces to help the team build beyond this season.

Either way, the Coyotes needing to give themselves some flexibility and this largely AHL-impacting trade has done just that.

What do you think of the move Coyotes fans? Are you pleased to see the team acquire Pettersson? Are you disappointed to see Dauphin traded away again? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!