The prospect rich Arizona Coyotes have assets
When you are a General Manager of a NHL team, you have some choices to make when the NHL Entry Draft comes around. GM John Chayka of the Coyotes, will soon be pondering what to do with the seventh overall pick. Does he use it to supplement his team who already rich in prospects, or does he trade it to get a more experienced NHL player? Tough call, but if anyone can handle it, Chayka can.
He’s already proven to be a crafty negotiator at the draft. Last year he convinced the Detroit Red Wings that they needed to unload Pavel Datsyuk’s contract since he decided to sign as a free agent by St. Petersburg (KHL) in July of last year. In return the Coyotes moved up from the 20th draft position to Detroit’s 16th. At which point, Chayka drafted Jakob Chychrun. The young (18 at the time) defenseman has performed admirably for the Desert Dogs. Chychrun tallied seven goals, 13 assists in 68 games, and has some great offensive skills to add to his youthful exuberance.
This draft is not all that great
The Coyotes will repeat their draft spot that they had last year selecting seventh. Or, maybe they won’t… if Chayka gets an offer for the pick which makes sense and improves his team. There’s not a doubt that the Arizona Coyotes need to step it up to get to the post-season for the first time in six seasons when they hit the ice in the fall.
The quality of players in this year’s draft tapers off quickly after the first four or five picks. Still, there will be some talent worth checking out by the team. It seems according to azcentral.com that the top choice by NHL experts has the Yotes leaning towards defenseman Cale Makar of Brooks Bandits of the AJHL. He had above average statistics showing 24 goals, 51 assists in just 54 games. He is pegged to join UMass (Amherst) of the NCAA in the fall. He isn’t a big body (5′-11″,179), but could be a player the Coyotes might have some interest in drafting.
Trading the pick might make sense
Every year about this time there are rumors as to what NHL GM’s are going to do with their draft picks. According to Yahoosports.com the Dallas Stars, who possess the third overall draft selection, are interested in trading that pick. They may be motivated in strengthening their blueline since they lost both Alex Goligoski and Jason Demers last summer to free agency. The expansion draft is making GM’s crazy trying to shuffle their roster around to keep the players they want.
Could the Coyotes be interested in moving up to third spot in this year’s draft? Who would they need to give up to do that? Most importantly, who would they select third overall? Casey Mittelstadt, Gabriel Vilardi, or Michael Rasmussen would be good choices.
Or, another option could be Minnesota’s Nino Niederreiter. According to Elliotte Friedman, “the 24-year-old winger had a career-high 25 goals in 2016–17, and, after making a few calls, it sounds like teams are looking at the Wild’s expansion/cap situation, wondering if he could be available. Two years away from unrestricted free agency, Niederreiter is arbitration eligible and will get a nice raise from the $2.7 million he just earned.” Could the Coyotes be interested in trading their seventh pick, with say a young defenseman like Kyle Wood?
The Wild are already regretting the trade they made with the Coyotes to acquire Martin Hanzal. They seem to have no interest, or cap space to even consider signing him to a long-term contract. And, they gave up three draft picks to get Hanzal and Ryan White. It seems doubtful that the two clubs would make another deal, but you never know… especially with the Coyotes’ GM John Chayka. He may have some additional tricks up his sleeve.
And, now he finally has an Assistant GM to help him. The team announced that Steve Sullivan has been promoted from Player Personnel Director to Assistant General Manager. Sullivan will take over the management of the AHL Tucson Roadrunners in his new role, along with responsibilities assisting Chayka.
More than likely the Arizona team will retain their seventh overall selection.
Now we just need to wait to see who they select.
What do you think the Coyotes should do with their seventh draft selection? Voice your opinion below: