GLENDALE – Klas Dahlbeck has never been to Arizona but he hopes to come very soon.
The Coyotes acquired the 23-year-old Swedish defenseman – and a first-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft – from the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night for center Antoine Vermette.
"I'm very excited to be part of the Coyotes organization," Dahlbeck said. "Hopefully this will be a really good opportunity for me."
Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney said the decision where to assign Dahlbeck has yet to be made because he’s still considering more deals before the NHL trade deadline on Monday at 1 p.m. (AZ time).
"We'll continue to try to get better over the next couple of days," Maloney said. "This was a big one for us. Now I can focus on some of these other (possible deals) we're talking about."
Dahlbeck describes himself as a "hard-working, stay-at-home defenseman" but, he added, "when I get the opportunity, I like to shoot the puck."
The Blackhawks selected Dahlbeck in the third round (79th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He has four games on his NHL resume, all played this season. He notched his lone NHL point on Dec. 11, 2014 - a goal at the Boston Bruins.
"I felt good in those games," Dahlbeck said. "Hopefully I can be an NHL regular soon. I like to play within a good team structure. The Coyotes style will suit me well."
Dahlbeck is 6-foot-3, 207 pounds and a native of Katrineholm, Sweden.
|Klas Dahlbeck. Photo by Getty Images. |
"We like the way he moves, we like his defending style," Maloney said. "He's a bigger, thicker body... We need to get our hands on him and get a look at him. We like the potential there but I'm hesitant to put a label on him. We think he's a good prospect."
Dahlbeck grew up in Sweden about 30 minutes from where Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson grew up. He said they played against each other several times as kids and were once teammates.
Regarding losing Vermette, the team’s MVP last season, Maloney said: "Vermette is a terrific player ... We took some time to find a deal that made sense to us... We're very happy with the return."
Vermette, who was set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, notched 13 goals and 35 points this season. Once Saturday’s game at Boston ended, Vermette sensed he’d played his last game with Arizona.
"You've got to take it as a man; it's part of the game unfortunately," he said, an hour before the trade was announced. "It's a special group, special guys. I made some friends here."