Recent Draft History – Evaluating the first 3 rounds of the last 5 Drafts for each team. I’ve left out 2016, as it’s way too early to tell on 95% of the picks. Instead, this will be examining drafts from 2011 to 2015.
2011 NHL Entry Draft
Round 1 – Connor Murphy (D) 20th overall – Murphy has played in 258 NHL games since being drafted, which is good for where he was picked in comparison to some who went before him. He played OK for Arizona, but was flipped this past week to Chicago with Laurent Dauphin for Niklas Hjalmarsson. Great trade for Arizona, as they’ve definitely found an upgrade for their backend.
Round 2 – Alexander Ruuttu (F) 51st overall – Ruuttu has been a bust for the Coyotes, never playing a game in North America. Arizona had so many better options here, with William Karlsson taken 2 picks later who has played 183 NHL games to date. Awful pick by Arizona here.
Round 2 – Lucas Lessio (LW) 56th overall – Traded Daniel Carcillo to the Flyers for Scottie Upshall and this pick. Upshall alone was more productive and effective than Carcillo ever was, however the pick didn’t turn out for Arizona. He was flipped to Montreal in 2015 for Christian Thomas, who again didn’t turn out. Nikita Kucherov was taken 2 picks later, soooooo…
Round 3 – Harrison Ruopp (D) 84th overall – Awful pick by the Coyotes, as he’s fallen down to the ECHL permanently it appears. He was traded to Pittsburgh in 2012 with a couple other pieces for Zbynek Michalek, but in the end the Coyotes would have been better if they had drafted someone else, say JG Pageau or Johnny Gaudreau?
2012 NHL Entry Draft
Round 1 – Henrik Samuelsson (C) 27th overall – Samuelsson looks like a bust, and was traded this year to Edmonton for Mitch Moroz who was drafted in the 2nd round of this same draft. Who was taken after Samuelsson in this draft? In the first round alone were Brady Skjei and Tanner Pearson. Big miss here by Arizona, an all too common theme throughout this.
Round 2 – Jordan Martinook (C) 58th overall – Martinook has played in 166 NHL games since being drafted, putting up only 50 points. Those are pretty good numbers for a 58th overall pick, and I don’t think the Coyotes would undo this one.
Round 3 – James Melindy (D) 88th overall – Bad pick here, as he played most of the past 3 seasons in the ECHL. He’s turned himself into a fighter, putting up over 250 PIMS this past year, and a rock solid -35 rating. Taken immediately after him was Brendan Leipsic, who looks like he’ll have a much better career now with Vegas.
2013 NHL Entry Draft
Round 1 – Max Domi (C) 12th overall – Domi plays a much better rounded game than his father ever did, providing some physicality with a lot of offensive upside. He scored 38 points this year in 59 games, cut short due to an injury suffered in a fight. He needs to work on his discipline, as he takes too many penalties, and the Coyotes need him on the ice. He was a great pick at 12th overall by the Coyotes.
Round 2 – Laurent Dauphin (C) 39th overall – Dauphin was traded out of Arizona with Connor Murphy for Niklas Hjalmarsson. Sitting at 4 points in 32 career NHL games, Dauphin isn’t exactly a highly-touted prospect, but there haven’t been a ton of players taken behind him who have blown up the scoresheet either. The fact they were able to use him as a piece to upgrade to Hjalmarsson is great, but they could still have picked better here.
Round 3 – Yan-Pavel Laplante (LW) 62nd overall – Currently playing in the ECHL, Laplante is likely a longshot to make the NHL at any point in his career. The Coyotes don’t have a massive amount of prospects, and the fact he can’t cut it at the AHL level speaks volumes.
2014 NHL Entry Draft
Round 1 – Brendan Perlini (LW) 12th overall – Perlini made his NHL debut this year, with 21 points in 57 games. That’s a little low for a 12th overall pick, 2 years after being drafted. His 14 goals are a positive sign that he can score, and may just need to be surrounded by better players. He’s likely at most a 2nd line/3rd line winger at this point, which is lesser than some of the guys drafted after him such as Dylan Larkin and David Pastrnak.
Round 2 – Ryan MacInnis (C) 43rd overall – MacInnis had a weak AHL rookie campaign that saw only 17 points in 68 games. He scored 38 goals in his final year in junior, but will need far better numbers at the AHL level if he ever hopes of cracking an NHL roster. At this point, this looks like a bad pick by Arizona.
Round 2 – Christian Dvorak (C) 58th overall – Traded David Rundblad and Mathieu Brisebois to Chicago for this pick. Dvorak has turned out to be a much better pick than MacInnis out of this second round, as he scored 33 points in 78 NHL games this year. The Coyotes didn’t have a great team this year, and Dvorak will likely increase his point production next year, once he has some better linemates to work with. Good pick here in late round 2 by Arizona, as he looks like a great young player.
Round 3 – Anton Karlsson (LW) 87th overall – Miss here by Arizona, as Karlsson had weak numbers this year in the Swedish league. One notable still on the board at this point were Viktor Arvidsson, who the Coyotes would much rather have right now.
2015 NHL Entry Draft
Round 1 – Dylan Strome (C) 3rd overall – I’m not entirely sure Strome will pan out as an NHL star, and being drafted 3rd overall, it’s not looking like they made the right pick. There are plenty of players the Coyotes would have been better off with, and missing out on a true star with the 3rd overall pick is brutal. He’s still young, but hasn’t impressed me with his play to this point.
Round 1 – Nick Merkley (RW) 30th overall – Received this pick from Chicago for Antoine Vermette. Merkley had a good year in junior this year, with 63 points in 63 games, but as a 1st round pick, and playing your 4th season in junior, you’d expect much more out of him. He still has time to develop, but seeing some guys behind him already having good starts to their career is a tough pill to swallow.
Round 2 – Christian Fischer (RW) 32nd overall – Played in 7 NHL games this year scoring 3 goals, while scoring 47 points in 57 AHL games. He looks like he’ll develop into a good power-forward for the Coyotes, and will have a shot at the NHL roster next year in camp. They need the help, and this was a pretty good pick in early round 2. Obviously they’d rather have Aho, who was taken 3 picks later, but so would 29 other teams.
Round 3 – Kyle Capobianco (D) 63rd overall – Finished his junior career strong, with 45 points in 65 games. Needs big time work on his defensive game, with a combined -115 rating for his junior career! That’s massive!
Round 3 – Adin Hill (G) 76th overall – Traded Oliver Kylington to Calgary for this pick, plus the 83rd overall pick. Played 40 games in the AHL this year, with a SV% of 0.906 and a GAA of 3.16. Not crazy numbers by any means, but pretty good for a 20 year old netminder. He’ll have some time to develop, but the Coyotes need a goalie soon, so they’re hoping he can progress quickly.
Round 3 – Brendan Warren (LW) 81st overall – Traded Devan Dubnyk to the Wild for this pick. Could be one of the more lopsided trades in recent history, as Dubnyk went on to win 27 games in his first season in Minnesota. He’s since become one of the top goalies in the league, while Warren has yet to play an NHL game. Rough trade and bad pick.
Round 3 – Jens Looke (RW) 83rd overall – Looks like a bad pick, as he managed only 16 points in 46 games in Sweden this year. Not great, doesn’t look like he’s grown any since being drafted.
Arizona has had a lot of bad picks, which makes sense given their current roster situation. They’ve done well in the past couple drafts, picking up the likes of Jakob Chychrun and Clayton Keller, but will need a lot more of that if they ever hope to be a constant team pushing for the playoffs year in and year out.