The Vancouver Canucks kicked off the NHL entry draft with a blockbuster trade Friday, sending their first-round pick to the Arizona Coyotes.
The deal will see Arizona select ninth overall, while Vancouver acquires defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and forward Conor Garland. The Coyotes also receive Canucks forwards Jay Beagle, Loui Eriksson and Antoine Roussel, plus the club's second-round pick in 2022 and its seventh-round selection in 2023.
Vancouver was set to be the first Canadian team on the board at Friday's draft, which is being held virtually for the second year in a row.
Owen Power, a six-foot-six, 213-pound defenceman from Mississauga, Ont., is expected to be selected by the Buffalo Sabres with the first overall pick.
The league's newest franchise, the Seattle Kraken, will choose second and the Anaheim Ducks will round out the top three.
The Ottawa Senators will choose 10th, followed by the Calgary Flames (No. 13), the Winnipeg Jets (No. 18), the Edmonton Oilers (No. 20) and the Montreal Canadiens (No. 31).
The Toronto Maple Leafs dealt their first-round selection to the Columbus Blue Jackets in April for forward Nick Foligno and won't pick until midway through the second-round (No. 57 overall) on Saturday.
Scouts, GMs and players have all said this year's draft is difficult to predict as the COVID-19 pandemic limited chances for young athletes to play and be discovered.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 23, 2021.
The Canadian Press