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Arizona Coyotes trade Brandon Gormley to Colorado

The Coyotes' top pick in 2010 is now with the Avalanche.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today I mentioned that the Arizona Coyotes offering PTOs to Keith Aulie and Corey Potter was a way of lighting a fire under younger defensemen, particularly Brandon Gormley.

Three hours later, Gormley no longer has to worry about either of them.

The Arizona Coyotes announced this evening that they traded the former 12th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defenseman Stefan Elliott.

Elliott was the 49th overall selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He has played 63 career NHL games with Colorado, recording six goals and twelve assists in that stretch. Last season, he had no points in five NHL contests, but put up 19 goals and 21 assists in 64 AHL games.

Don Maloney's decision to trade Gormley ends what could charitably be described as a turbulent offseason between the Coyotes and their young defenseman:

Gormley recorded two goals and two assists in 27 games last season, but missed a substantial amount of time midway through the year due to injury.

So where does this leave the Coyotes? The way is clear for Klas Dahlbeck to take the third left-handed shot position on the Coyotes defense, along with Nicklas Grossmann and Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

The 7th defenseman spot likely becomes a battle between Philip Samuelsson (lefty), Keith Aulie (lefty), Corey Potter (righty), and the aforementioned Elliott, now that he is under contract:

But this move marks the end of the road for Brandon Gormley in Sedona Red, and is an object lesson in how difficult prospect evaluation can truly be.