Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day our LWOS Prospects Writers will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2023 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow Ben Kerr, Kyle Pereira and Frederik Frandson on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! Today we bring you our Arizona Coyotes Draft Pick Options.
Another year and the NHL Draft Lottery woes continue for the Arizona Coyotes. The Arizona Coyotes draft pick is sixth overall in Nashville this summer. This is no surprise, as the team has never moved up in franchise history. Missing out on the generational talent in Connor Bedard is no doubt a tough one to swallow for this franchise, especially when looking at who won the draft lottery, the Chicago Blackhawks.
Coyotes’ Lottery Woes Continue
Coyotes Still Have Two Picks in the Top 12
Looking on the bright side, the Coyotes did not move down the draft list. This was something percentage-wise that was more than likely to happen. The Coyotes were most likely to select seventh (41.4%) or sixth (34.1%) but could not have fallen further than eighth (9.1%). With the addition of the Ottawa Senators’ pick, the Coyotes have a plethora of options.
The draft order went exactly how the regular season standings ended, with no team moving up or down from where it finished outside of the top three picks. This could serve to be a positive for the Coyotes as staying put at six and 12 could result in two elite players.
As mentioned above, having Ottawas pick, you have quite a lot of flexibility. Whether that’s a trade or simply staying put, they have a ton of options. Another note from Ottawas’s pick is that the risk paid off. If it were to of jumped into the top-5, the Coyotes would’ve ended up with the Senators’ 2024 unprotected 1st round pick. Bill Armstrong took the gamble and got the result they wanted.
What to Expect From Bill Armstrong & the Draft
The minute Bill Armstrong was named general manager, he made it clear stating. “I’m excited about our future and the opportunity to build this team into a perennial playoff contender.” Armstrong tends to come off as aggressive, but only when needed. Trading Chychrun was long overdue, yet he got what he wanted.
If you recall from last year’s draft, the Arizona Coyotes traded up with the San Jose Sharks last year to draft Conor Geekie. Having another pick in the top 12 allows the scouting department to come away with two players from what is considered to be a very deep draft.
There are endless possibilities, especially with this draft. Having a wild card like Matvei Michkov or late risers like Will Smith. Having talent all over the board is something Bill Armstrong is used to. Back in his time in St. Louis, having the privilege of picking at six is something that never happened.
Bill began working for the St. Louis Blues as a scout in 2004. He then later took over as the Director of Amateur Scouting in 2010. Under his guidance, the Blues have drafted many notable players. Some include David Perron, Colton Parayko, Vince Dunn, and Jordan Binnington. These are some names that helped the Blues eventually win the 2019 Stanley Cup.
With the 2023 NHL Draft still a month and a half away, the Coyotes certainly have much to look forward to with picks six and 12.
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