The Oliver Ekman-Larsson trade saga took a turn yesterday. The new twist is Ekman-Larsson stating through his agent that he unless he is traded by Friday at 11:59am, he will remain a Coyote.
Kevin Epp, agent who represents Oliver Ekman-Larsson, has informed the teams involved that the defenceman has set a deadline for the start of free agency on Friday to accept a trade to BOS or VAN. After that, he will close the window and stay a Coyote.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 6, 2020
Darren Dreger expanded on this thought a little, citing that they feel like the best time for a trade is just prior to the start of free agency, which begins at noon on Friday.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson through his agent, Kevin Epp has imposed a Friday deadline for a trade to either Boston or Vancouver. “We think the best option for a trade is before free agency,” Epp told TSN. “If no deal by Friday, Oliver is staying in Arizona.”
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 6, 2020
Honestly, this news of being a trade target two years after starting signing his extension and becoming captain of the Arizona hockey club has to be unnerving, upsetting, and annoying. It’s obvious that he doesn’t want to be traded; his current deal has a full NMC throughout the term. He reluctantly made a list of two teams, neither of which he really wants to play for because he wants to stay. For the record, neither team seems serious about pulling the trigger on the trade for different reasons. Vancouver doesn’t have the cap space without shedding some salary. The Bruins have the more interesting prospects to Arizona but apparently not the right combination that works for both sides.
So, a trade may or may not happen but definitely not after noon on Friday.
The first round of the NHL Draft happened last night. As stated before, the Bruins had no pick in the round due to trading it to Anaheim. But that doesn’t matter because that’s not the important takeaway. Last night, with the second pick in the draft, the LA Kings took center Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves. With his selection, he became the highest drafted black hockey player in NHL Draft history.
Congratulations to @byfield55 on his 2nd Overall selection and becoming the highest drafted black player in history.
— Evander Kane (@evanderkane_9) October 6, 2020
Before him, Evander Kane had been the highest pick in 2009 (4th overall). Seth Jones also was selected 4th overall in 2013.
Here’s what the write-up on NHL.com says about Byfield:
NHL.com analysis: The 18-year-old has a skill set reminiscent of Joe Thornton at the same age: Great size but a bit thin (6-4, 215), top-end playmaking ability and outstanding skating. As Thornton got older and spent time around NHL strength and conditioning coaches, he got stronger and became dominant, and it’s easy to see Byfield doing the same with the Kings.
Hey, like Joe Thornton? Byfield should have a long career!