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Coyotes’ Oliver Ekman-Larsson sets trade deadline eyeing Bruins, Canucks

FILE - This Jan. 6, 2019, file photo shows Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson skating against the New York Rangers during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso, File)

Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson has asked the Arizona Coyotes to either trade him to one of two destinations before free agency opens on Friday or keep him, the player’s agent told TSN’s Darren Dreger.

“We think the best option for a trade is before free agency,” agent Kevin Epp told TSN. “If no deal by Friday, Oliver is staying in Arizona.”

The 29-year-old Coyotes captain has reportedly been willing to drop his no-trade clause to land with the Boston Bruins or Vancouver Canucks.

Ekman-Larsson agreed to an eight-year extension in July 2018 that runs through the 2026-27 season at an average annual salary of $8.25 million. General manager John Chayka, who signed him to that deal, is no longer with the team.

NHL’s free agency period begins at 9 a.m. Friday.

Arizona, led by new GM Bill Armstrong, could potentially act on a trade Tuesday or Wednesday to acquire draft picks for Ekman-Larsson. The first round will begin Tuesday afternoon, while the second through seventh rounds will take place Wednesday.

The Coyotes do not pick until the fourth round after trades and an NHL sanction stripped them of picks in the first three rounds.

Ekman-Larsson was named the Coyotes’ captain in 2018, taking over for Shane Doan, who held the honor from 2003-17. He was an alternate captain the prior four seasons.

The defenseman has spent his entire career in Arizona since being drafted by the Coyotes sixth overall in the 2009 NHL Draft. Ekman-Larsson has posted at least 20 assists in every season since 2012-13, and last season was the first time in seven seasons that he did not reach double-digit goals as he finished with nine to go with 21 assists.

The 30 points for Ekman-Larsson in 2019-20 were his fewest since 2012-13.

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