The Arizona Coyotes were scheduled to choose at the #14 position in the 2019 NHL Draft. Then, general manager John Chayka pulled off a trade of picks with the Philadelphia Flyers. He swapped selections with the Flyers moving up to the #11 spot and gave the #45 pick to the Flyers as well. All of the Coyotes fans were nervously awaiting what Chayka had in mind.
While many thought he would go for a forward with the top pick given team needs, Chayka had other things in mind. In true “select the best player available” fashion Chayka went with a defenceman instead. Chayka and his staff were really high on selecting Victor Soderstrom at 11. Here’s the Arizona Coyotes 2019 draft review and what it means for the team going into the off-season.
Arizona Coyotes 2019 Draft Was International
“Our staff combed the globe this year and made sure that we had a good understanding of all players available to us.” – GM Chayka
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) June 22, 2019
Seven of Chayka’s nine selections reign from outside North America. Perhaps it is the sign of the times, but it certainly doesn’t help their immediate need on the frontline. Victor Soderstrom is a good player with some real upside and he also is a right-handed shot. If he makes it to the Coyotes lineup in its present makeup that would make three Swedish defencemen on the Coyotes blueline.
Arizona Coyotes 2019 Draft Review in Rounds1-7
A complete list of the Coyotes 2019 NHL Draft selections:
- RD1 #11 – Victor Soderstrom (D)
- RD3 #76 – John Farinacci (C)
- RD4 #98 – Matias Maccelli (LW)
- RD4 #107 – Alexander Darin (RW)
- RD5 #151 – Aku Raty (RW)
- RD6 #174 – Danil Savunov (LW)
- RD6 #176 – Anthony Romano (C)
- RD7 #200 – Axel Bergkvist (D)
- RD7 #207 – Valentin Nussbaumer (C)
To break it down then the Coyotes 20109 draft review included four wingers, three centres, and two defencemen. That was accomplished by the crafty Chayka trading his #74 pick for three picks in the later rounds with the Pittsburgh Penguins this time.
While some may be disappointed that he didn’t grab someone like Cole Caufield who can flat out score goals with extreme frequency, Chayka knows what he is doing. Either he feels comfortable with his present roster when it comes to scoring goals or he has something more up his sleeve. The later is obvious since Chayka has been known to pull off some significant trades in his tenure in Arizona.
Most of the above draft selections including Soderstrom will NOT be in a Coyotes uniform come October. It’s possible that Soderstrom may play in the AHL in two seasons for the Tucson Roadrunners, but he is planning on going back to the SHL in Sweden to play this next season.
Arizona Coyotes Plans For Improvement
With a ton of free agents and trade possibilities, Chayka has made it known that he intends to go after big name players such as Matt Duchene. He and many other teams will be doing likewise. Duchene is a hot commodity and after yesterday’s shocking trade of P.K. Subban from the Nashville Predators to the New Jersey Devils, it appears that Nashville is licking their chops to go after Duchene.
That still leaves Chayka with other options to increase his team’s meagre offensive output. There’s always Ryan Dzingel who comes in at a more reasonable price ($1.8M) than Duchene. Of course, Dzingel will get a bump in his contract from anyone, so the bidding wars are about to commence. His 26 goals, 56 points last season would make him the Coyotes leading scorer.
It’s also certain that the Coyotes should be more healthy. Having a healthy forward line again consisting of Nick Schmaltz will do wonders to improve the team’s chances of making the playoffs.
Chayka clearly has an idea for how he wants this team to look going forward. The immediate impact this draft has may be smaller, but the future impact of the players selected could be very promising for the Coyotes.