Ahead of the NHL's anticipated lockout, the Phoenix Coyotes assigned a number of their young players to various minor league and junior teams, the team announced Saturday.
Among the notable players sent to the Coyotes' AHL affiliate, the Portland Portland Pirates was 21-year-old defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
The Coyotes sixth overall selection in the 2009 NHL Draft, Ekman-Larsson appeared in all 82 games last season, recording 13 goals and 32 points.
Besides Ekman-Larsson, other players assigned to the Pirates include: Scott Arnold, Alexandre Bolduc, Chris Brown, Chris Conner, Brett Hextall, Rob Klinkhammer, Phil Lane, Jordan Martinook, Andy Miele, Joel Rechlicz, Brendan Shinnimin, Jordan Szwarz, Ethan Werek; defensemen Mathieu Brodeur, Maxim Goncharov, Brandon Gormley, Mark Louis, David Rundblad, Michael Stone, Chris Summers, Justin Weller; and goaltenders Louis Domingue, Chad Johnson, Mike Lee, Mark Visentin.
Evan Bloodoff, Darian Dziurzynski and Maxime Villemaire are also expected to report to the Pirates on AHL contracts.
Players sent to their former junior teams included forward Lucas Lessio who went back to the OHL's Oshawa Generals and defenseman Connor Murphy who was returned to the Sarnia Sting.