|Olli Jokinen, F||29||82||71||2 years, $5.25 million|
|Nick Boynton, D||29||79||12||1 year, $2.95 million|
|Keith Ballard, D||25||82||21||1 year, $2.275 million|
|2008 Second Round Pick|
In one of the earliest deals of the Draft evening, the Panthers ended a lot of speculation that they would move Olli Jokinen by sending him to the Phoenix Coyotes, arguably not one of the bigger players in the Jokinen sweepstakes leading up to the deal. In return, the Panthers receive two defensemen in Nick Boynton and Keith Ballard, a pair of assets that can immediately help their back-end. They may not have the scoring that Phoenix just acquired in this deal, but they are building from the back outwards and the scoring will come with all of their young talent.
The Coyotes become a more serious contender with the addition of Jokinen and the stock of some of their younger players has risen because of the brand new centre they get to play with. It's easy to say their credibility has increased that extra little bit and you should feel a little safer when picking players from Phoenix. In Florida, the Panthers are really starting to fill out their roster already, so tinkering will be the only thing needed when July 1st hits. Their biggest goal will be signing their own restricted free agents this summer.