NHL trade rumors: Bruins, Coyotes have had 'continued dialogue' as draft nears

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Report: Bruins, Coyotes have had 'continued dialogue' as draft nears originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The NHL trade freeze was lifted Thursday afternoon and we've already seen a few deals. Could the Boston Bruins and Arizona Coyotes work out a trade in the near future?

David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reported Friday morning that the Bruins and Coyotes have held trade discussions, with multiple players potentially in the mix.

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Who might the Bruins be targeting from the Coyotes?

Well, middle-six winger Conor Garland would be one name to monitor. 

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Pagnotta reported last week that "the Coyotes are very much trying to move" Garland, and he also listed the Bruins among the several teams that have "checked in."

Garland is a restricted free agent, so if the Bruins acquired him, he'd need a new contract. The 25-year-old winger is from Scituate, Mass., so he knows the Boston area quite well.

From an on-ice perspective, the Bruins could really use Garland's 5-on-5 scoring. He tallied 27 of his 39 points for the Coyotes last season during 5-on-5 action, and that total would've tied Patrice Bergeron for the third-most 5-on-5 points on the Bruins. 

Who else could the Bruins want on the Coyotes?

2021 NHL Mock Draft roundup: Bruins' first-round pick predictions

Veteran defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson has been linked to the Bruins in trade rumors over the last year. However, his large contract and declining performance are among the reasons why he isn't a great fit for the B's. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper would be a good option for the Bruins if they're looking for a veteran player to compliment Jeremy Swayman in net next season. Kuemper is signed through the 2021-22 season with a $4.5 million salary cap hit.

The 2021 NHL Draft begins Friday night with the first round. The Bruins own the No. 21 overall pick.