Panthers trade top prospect Crouse, Bolland to Coyotes for 2 picks
The Florida Panthers and Arizona Coyotes completed a trade Thursday that sends prospect Lawson Crouse and forward Dave Bolland to the desert in exchange for second- and third-round draft picks, the clubs announced.
The Panthers are getting a conditional 2018 second-round selection from the Coyotes, and will get the better of Arizona's or the Detroit Red Wings' third-round pick (which Arizona acquired in June) in 2017, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.
"We are very pleased to acquire Lawson," Coyotes general manager John Chayka said. "He's a big, physical, power forward who is a strong skater with good hands. Players of his caliber and profile are extremely hard to find."
Crouse would have to burn a year off his entry-level contract in Arizona, Custance adds.
There's no money being retained on Bolland's contract, according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston. He's owed $5.5 million over the next three seasons, for which the Coyotes are now on the hook.
This is a salary dump by the Panthers, and the Coyotes get a solid prospect in Crouse to add to the mix of young players they're building around. Interestingly, Arizona's two highest-paid forwards are now Pavel Datsyuk - who's gone home to play in Russia - and Bolland.
Crouse was drafted 11th overall by the Panthers in 2015. The big left winger - he's 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds - had 23 goals and 39 assists in 49 games for the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs last season.
Bolland spent most of last season off the ice due to an ankle injury, scoring one goal and adding four assists in 25 games. The Panthers had been trying to move him for months, reports the Sun Sentinel's Harvey Fialkov.
It's been a busy summer for the Panthers, as they signed unrestricted free agents Keith Yandle, Jason Demers, and James Reimer. After winning the Atlantic Division last season, they're out to prove that was no fluke.
Florida traded its No. 1 prospect Thursday, but it's an indication of how serious the team is about winning next season and beyond. Roberto Luongo isn't going to be around forever, after all.