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Stepan and Raanta is the next step for a Coyotes franchise in serious need of a successful feel-good season.


We’ve looked at it from every angle, and just keep circling back to all the guys who were elite starters last year, we think (Raanta) can do that, said Chayka. I think he needs some opportunity and support, and I think he can be that guy for us.

Last season Raanta who owns a Stanley Cup ring from 2015 as Hjalmarsson’s teammate in Chicago appeared in a career-high 30 games, winning 16, and posted a 2.26 goals-against average and .922 save percentage. Both of those numbers bettered those put up by the Rangers’ starter, Henrik Lundqvist.

Ultimately, the haul of Hjalmarsson, Stepan and Raanta is the next step for a Coyotes franchise in serious need of a successful feel-good season.

We had a tough year, and then a tough result in the (draft) lottery, and we just feel that we have another first-round pick this year and a lot of great young players, and they need stability, some good veteran players around them. We feel we filled three big needs today, Chayka said.

Now diagnosed with the fourth known concussion of his career, Crosby’s troubling history with head and neck injuries is cause for concern and the Penguins, already plagued by injury, will proceed with caution. As is the case with all post-concussion situations, especially recurring ones such as in Crosby’s case, there’s no telling when the Hart Trophy finalist might be ready to return. It could well cost the defending Stanley Cup champions a shot at a repeat.

The New Jersey Devils, who had just the fifth-best odds of landing the No. 1 pick, won the lottery, which determines the order for the first 15 picks in the 2017 NHL Draft. The lottery was held Saturday, April 29, in Toronto; the draft will be held June 23-24 in Chicago.

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