Martin Hanzal has been with the Arizona Coyotes since 2005. He is now heading elsewhere, as the Minnesota Wild have acquired the Coyotes’ big center, according to multiple reports, in addition to forward Ryan White and a fourth round pick. David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period was the first to report that trade talks had heated up earlier this evening.
In return, the Coyotes will receive a bounty of draft choices, according to Elliotte Friedman:
ARIZ is receiving a first-rounder, a second-rounder and a conditional pick that can become a second. MIN is all-in— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 27, 2017
Craig Custance of ESPN adds some further detail:
It's a 2017 first-round pick going from Minny to AZ for Hanzal, 2018 2nd and the conditional pick is 2019.— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) February 27, 2017
UPDATE #1 (5:49 PM): TSN’s Bob McKenzie lays out the details of the conditional draft choice, as well as mentioning Arizona receives minor-leaguer Grayson Downing:
MIN sends 2017 1st rder, 2018 2nd rder, 2019 conditional 4th rder (conditions to follow) and minor leaguer Grayson Downing to ARI.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 27, 2017
Conditional pick: If MIN wins one playoff round this year, it becomes 3rd round pick; if MIN wins two rounds, it becomes 2nd round pick.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 27, 2017
Hanzal led the Coyotes in scoring with 16 goals in 51 games. He has a 47.6 5v5 CF%, but +2.1% relative to the rest of the Coyotes. Hanzal has been a better possession player than his team on average in nine of his ten NHL seasons.
The 17th overall selection in 2005, Hanzal has dealt with injury problems for much of his career; since the 2010-11 season he has not played in more than 65 games in a single season.
Ryan White meanwhile has seven goals and six assists in 46 games, along with a team leading 70 penalty minutes. White has a 42.9 5v5 CF% on the fourth line this year, or -4.69% relative to the rest of the team. Both players are unrestricted free agents at the end of the season.
For the Wild, this move is the clearest indication that General Manager Chuck Fletcher believes now is the time to win. Ryan Suter and Zach Parise are not getting any younger, while Devan Dubnyk is turning in an excellent season in net for Minnesota. Bruce Boudreau has Minnesota at the top of the standings, so the Wild apparently believe this may be their best opportunity to make a deep run.
For the Coyotes, General Manager John Chayka secured a sizable haul of decent draft choices over the next three years. Given the relative weakness of this season’s draft, spreading out picks over 2018 and 2019 both increases the chance of landing quality players, while also giving Chayka flexibility to make moves to accelerate the rebuild as needed.
Martin Hanzal has been a highly underrated part of the Coyotes for some time now. Here’s wishing him and Ryan White the best in Minnesota.