Arizona Coyotes trade Kevin Connauton for Carl Soderberg

The Arizona Coyotes have made a splash ahead of the first day of free agency, sending defenceman Kevin Connauton to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for forward Carl Soderberg.

The trade, which also sees the Coyotes send a 2020 third round pick to the Avalanche, was first announced by TSN's Darren Dreger via his official Twitter account.

The trade was later confirmed by the team themselves.

The deal sees the Coyotes offload a player that was viewed as one of the weaker links in a stacked and high-performing defensive unit, while addressing something that the team has severely lacked - goals.

The 33-year-old Soderberg, who has one year left on a contract paying holding a cap hit of $4.75 million, is coming off a season where he registered 23 goals and 49 total points while averaging 17:27 of ice time.

The versatile forward, who is capable of playing at centre as well as on the left wing, will now compete for a role on the team's second line and will hopefully provide Rick Tocchet with additional options in front of the net.

Connauton, who only managed 50 appearances for the Coyotes last season, joins an Avalanche team looking to build a strong defensive corps to provide additional support for their offensive stars, such as Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon.

With Connauton costing just $1.375 million, the Coyotes now have just about $3 million under the salary cap with which to negotiate free agency.

With general manager John Chayka opting to allow Nick Cousins and Josh Archibald to walk into unrestricted free agency, with The Athletic's Craig Morgan revealing on Twitter that neither of them had received a qualifying offer from the team.

This likely allowed the Coyotes the room to trade for Soderberg, needing the extra cap room to fit his contract into their team heading into next season.

With Alex Goligoski also rumoured to be available, the Coyotes could still free up additional space to target some offensive talent available in free agency, but for now the team has a new piece with which to work in Soderberg.

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