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Martin Hanzal traded to Wild by Coyotes

Center acquired by Minnesota, along with forward Ryan White, for three draft picks and prospect

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The Minnesota Wild acquired center Martin Hanzal from the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday for a first-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, a second-round pick in 2018, a conditional pick in 2019 and forward Grayson Downing.

Minnesota will also receive center Ryan White and a fourth-round pick in 2017.

Hanzal is in the final year of a five-year, $15.5 million contract worth an average annual value of $3.1 million, according to CapFriendly.com. He can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Hanzal, 29, led Arizona with 16 goals, and has 26 points in 51 games this season. Hanzal has 117 goals and 196 assists in 608 regular-season games in 10 seasons, all with the Coyotes.

Video: Wild land Martin Hanzal in trade with Coyotes

"He's an extremely tough player to play against," Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said of Hanzal. "He's a big strong centerman, he plays a heavy game, he makes you earn every inch of the ice when you play against him.

"Of all the guys with expiring contracts at forward, we felt he would have the biggest impact on any roster, so certainly our goal was to have him play for us and also to keep him away from other teams in the West."

Hanzal was selected by the Coyotes in the first round (No. 17) at the 2005 draft.

"We felt this was the best deal for the club. It's all about alternatives," Coyotes general manager John Chayka said. "You have preferences and then when you get down to deals you make a decision. My decision was this was the best value for our organization now and into the future. We'll turn these picks into players eventually, and our amateur staff has done a phenomenal job and I'm putting my eggs in their basket.

"Martin is a 6-foot-6 center who's going to help the Minnesota Wild win a Stanley Cup. I can tell as a manager it's a miserable feeling, and I'm sure it's not easy in the room in terms of moving out a core player. But at the same time, the fact are the facts. Martin is a 30-year-old pending UFA and we're 29th in the League right now. It is what is and we have to continue to make moves to improve moving forward in hopes we're in a position where we never have to do this again."

White, 28, had seven goals, six assists and 70 penalty minutes in 46 games for Arizona this season. A third-round pick (No. 66) by the Montreal Canadiens in 2006, White has 29 goals and 29 assists in 294 regular-season games in eight seasons with the Coyotes, Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers.

"[Wild assistant coach] Andrew Brunette called [White] a junkyard dog," Fletcher said. "He's a player that plays in your bottom six but he competes, shows up every day. … Just the versatility, the competiveness, the grit, I think he's a guy that adds some qualities that you need this time of the year."

Downing, 24, has seven goals and 14 assists in 46 games with Iowa of the American Hockey League. He had 40 points in 56 games for Iowa last season.

"For right now, we're just putting our chips in the middle of the table for this year," Fletcher said. "We like our group and we think our players deserve the best chance possible to compete [and want to] see what we can do. Again, nothing's promised and we know it will be tough, but I think our thought is we may as well take a swing and see how far we can go."

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