NHL Rumors: Arizona Coyotes – Ekman-Larsson, Capitals, and a Need For A No. 1.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson
On the Washington Capitals … 

Brian McNally: There has been no indication that the Arizona Coyotes are taking offers on defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. He’d be great add for a bunch of teams, including the Capitals. If the Coyotes were interested in moving him, it would take a big offer, and it could hurt the Capitals chances of re-signing defenseman John Carlson.

On the Arizona Coyotes …

The Fourth Period: Teams are watching the Coyotes to see what they plan on doing with defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Earlier this season they’ve said they are not talking about trading him.

Speculation on if he wants to remain in Arizona long-term is growing.

Sources are saying there is some talk within the organization as to whether they should take offers on Ekman-Larsson now or wait until after the draft lottery to see which slot they end up in.

If the Coyotes win the lottery and select first overall, they could take Rasmus Dahlin, making it easier to Ekman-Larsson.

Teams that have been linked to OEL include the Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, and Edmonton Oilers.

Craig Morgan of Arizona Sports: The Coyotes don’t have a lot of top-end centers in their organization. They have Dylan Strome, but next in line are Laurent Dauphin, Ryan MacInnis, and Lane Pedersen, who are more bottom-six guys. They hope to improve down the middle.

“I think you’re always looking at center,” the Coyotes director of amateur scouting said. “It’s always your priority when you’re drafting forwards.

“There’s not a ton out there. This year in the draft, I think there’s no centermen even rated in the top 10. It’s a hard position to fill. They just don’t grow on trees.”

On the Coyotes, Derek Stepan is better suited as a No. 2 and not a No. 1. Christian Dvorak and Brad Richardson would then be their No. 3 and 4 centers if they had a true No. 1.