Coyotes acquire C Nathan Smith, contract of Bryan Little from Jets

Mar 21, 2022, 9:15 AM | Updated: 9:21 am
Nathan Smith #13 of Team United States in action during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Grou...
Nathan Smith #13 of Team United States in action during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A match between Team United States and Team Germany on Day 9 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Wukesong Sports Centre on February 13, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes have acquired center Nathan Smith and the contract of forward Bryan Little from the Winnipeg Jets for a 2022 fourth-round pick.

Smith, 23, is wrapping up his junior year at Minnesota State. Through 39 games, he’s scored 18 goals and added 31 assists for 49 points. In the 2022 Winter Olympics, Smith recorded a goal and an assist for two points over four games.

“We are excited to acquire Nate,” Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong said in press release. “He is a very skilled two-way center who is relentless and competes hard every night. We are very happy to acquire his rights and look forward to him joining the Coyotes organization.”

Smith originally entered the league as a third-rounder in the 2018 NHL Draft.

Little hasn’t played since November 2019 after he was struck in the head by a shot attempt. The injury happened just seven games into the regular season and came after he had sustained a concussion in the preseason.

This past February, Little underwent surgery to repair a perforated eardrum and was ruled out for this season. His contract runs through 2023-24.

Little, 34, has played 13 seasons in the NHL. He was originally drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the first round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and moved with the team when it relocated to Winnipeg and became the Jets.

The Coyotes have remained busy ahead of Monday’s 12 p.m. trade deadline.

On Sunday, Arizona traded veteran goaltender Scott Wedgewood to the Dallas Stars for a conditional fourth-round pick. The Coyotes also acquired center Jack McBain from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a 2022 second-rounder.

Arizona is off Monday before returning to action Tuesday against the Seattle Kraken.

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