Two promising defensemen that haven’t been able to make their mark with their respective clubs will get a chance elsewhere. That’s the main takeaway from the Colorado Avalanche’s announcement that they’ve dealt Stefan Elliott to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Brandon Gormley.
Elliott, 24, was taken with the 49th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He excelled offensively with the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades to the point where he scored 31 goals and 81 points in 71 contests in his last season with the squad in 2010-11. He was solid in that regard in his rookie season with Colorado as well, recording four goals and 13 points in 39 games.
The blueliner has only played in 24 contests with the Avalanche over the last three seasons though. While he did score 19 goals and 40 points with AHL Lake Erie in 2014-15, it was reported in June that he had “grown out of favor with the Avalanche,” per the Denver Post.
The fact that he was one of the few remaining restricted free agents might tie into that story. As it is, the Coyotes have already tentatively agreed upon a one-year, two-way deal with him, per Craig Morgan.
Gormley was taken by the Coyotes with the 13th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Despite that prominent positioning, the 23-year-old has had trouble cracking Arizona’s roster as he’s been limited to 32 NHL games thus far.
“He’s at a stage where it’s either fish or cut bait, to be honest,” Coyotes GM Don Maloney said in July. “This offseason and training camp are very important for him.”
This training camp is still very important to him, but he’ll be entering it with a clean slate now.