The game plan for Don Maloney is one that is pretty straight forward: Acquire great young prospects that will be effective in the future. There’s a very good core being built in the desert that includes the likes of Max Domi, Anthony Duclair, and Brendan Perlini, and I have to say, the future looks fairly bright for a team who’s off ice situation is far from it. With the depth of forward prospects, and the fact the Yotes have two first round selections, Maloney may need to start looking at bringing in young NHL players (like Kane in Buffalo) to solidify the core.
If the Coyotes are going to use the pick, rather than trading down (or to Buffalo for Sam Reinhart), there’s a few good options at 3. It’s extremely unlikely that anyone other than Strome, Hanifin, or Marner will hear their name called that early, with that being said I believe that Dylan Strome is the guy they go with. Strome’s name has been rumoured around the Coyotes organization for a while now, and for a lot of reasons it makes sense. The Coyotes lack size down the middle, as well, they don’t have a prospect who’s really expected to be that number one center who can post 90+ points, and Strome is the guy who may come closest to that. That’s not a knock on Domi or Dvorak, but Strome has the ability to be a number one center and take over a team similar to that of Eric Staal. He may not fall into that elite category like Tavares or Stamkos, but he could end up being a very good player.
Mitchell Marner is another option in this spot. With ties to Domi and Dvorak, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to grab the speedy winger even if he brings a game similar to Max Domi. Noah Hanifin brings something the Yotes don’t have. A blue chip defensive prospect. He’s going to be a stud, and if it were me with the pick I’d have no problem grabbing him with the third overall pick. However, I’m not Don Maloney, and I do believe Maloney comes out of the draft with a Strome brother. Further down in the draft, at 30, there will be a lot of good prospects on the board. Keep an eye on Jake Debrusk, Noah Juulsen, and Ilya Samsonov. I know it will be a fun day for Yotes fans, but I’d be cautious as the draft approaches. The Coyotes may not hold the 3rd overall pick come June 26th.
Draft Day Gameplan
– With picks 30 and 32, look at moving into the top 22. It’d be fine to stay, grab two good prospects, but I feel a good player will be there in the top 22/23.
– If you go with Hanifin at 3, look at a Gormley for Grigorenko deal.
– If the choice is to move down, make teams pay a premium. Don’t fall out of the top 10, add one or two A grade prospects.
– Hold on to Mikkel Bodker. I’ve heard rubies around him being dealt, but hang on to him, he’s young, speedy, and proven.
Yotes Big Board (Without McEichel)
1. Dylan Strome
2. Noah Hanifin
3. Mitchell Marner
4. Ivan Provorov
5. Mathew Barzal
6. Mikko Rantanen
7. Pavel Zacha
8. Kyle Connor
9. Travis Konecny
10. Lawson Crouse
Who do they take?
If they pick at 3, they’re likely going with Dylan Strome. Whoever they take there, they will be getting a really good prospect, but Strome fills a need and the argument can be made that he may be the BPA at that point. Strome is justified, Hanifin the smarter pick.
In the situation that they trade down, I believe they’d have interest in both Mathew Barzal and Kyle Connor. Both have the potential to be good NHL centers, and I could see them loving Barzal at this point in their rebuild.