Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson’s future will be one of the biggest storylines in the NHL this season, and after spending the first nine pro seasons in Canada, it sounds like he wants to spend the next stage of his career in the United States.

Here’s the latest on Karlsson, via Andy Strickland of FOX Sports Midwest:

Karlsson has one more year left on his contract, making him eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Arguably the best defensemen in the league, Karlsson will command a massive contract to be signed off the open market (if he reaches it at all).

The best course of action for the Senators is to trade him and use the assets from the deal to accelerate their ongoing rebuild.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported Wednesday that trade talks have picked up recently. In addition, Friedman reported “there is also a belief (the Vancouver Canucks have) stepped in to see if it is a match.” Strickland’s report makes the Canucks news interesting since they obviously play in Canada. Vancouver also is nowhere near being a contender for the Stanley Cup.

The only Canadian teams deserving of the Cup contender label are the Winnipeg Jets and Toronto Maple Leafs. A trade to the Leafs seems unlikely since they’re the Sens’ archrival.

The Vegas Golden Knights reportedly had interest in Karlsson at the trade deadline but were unable to pull off a deal.

Thumbnail photo via Marc DesRosiers/USA TODAY Sports Images