Trade: Sharks acquire ‘big, skilled center’ Letunov from Coyotes

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One of the prospects acquired by Arizona’s old GM has been shipped out by the new one.

Maxim Letunov, the key piece acquired in last year’s deadline deal that sent Zbynek Michalek to St. Louis, has been sent to the Sharks for a pair of draft picks.

Arizona also sent a ’17 sixth-rounder to San Jose in the deal.

Former Coyotes GM Don Maloney had rave reviews for Letunov upon acquiring him in March of ’15, calling him a “big, skilled center with excellent upside.”

The 20-year-old Russian, taken 52nd overall by the Blues in ’14, went on to have a good freshman campaign at UConn — 40 points in 36 games, Making the Hockey East All-Rookie team — but was still sent packing by new ‘Yotes GM John Chayka, who received San Jose’s fourth-rounder this year and a third-rounder in ’17, which was originally a Red Wings pick.

It’s pretty clear how much Chayka values draft selections. Earlier, he opted not to sign former first-round pick Conner Bleackley to an ELC, instead taking the compensatory pick (53rd overall) at this year’s draft.

Bleackley had been acquired by Maloney as part of the Mikkel Boedker-to-Colorado trade.

With today’s deal, the Coyotes now have eight picks at this year’s draft, including four in the top 53.