Drafting Skills: Arizona Coyotes

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.

Arizona Coyotes

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.

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Drafting Skills: Carolina Hurricanes

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.

Carolina Hurricanes

2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Ryan Murphy (D) 12th overall – Murphy is by no-means a bust, but he’s not quite what everyone thought he’d be. He’s quickly becoming expendably for the Hurricanes, and while he’s played 151 games, he’s likely not going to be around for much longer in the NHL. That’s tough to swallow for Carolina, being a 12th overall pick only 6 years ago.

Round 2 – Victor Rask (C) 42nd overall – Rask has developed into a top-line player for Carolina, and had another campaign where he approached 50 points. I think he’s better off on the second line, but I would consider this a much better pick than Murphy.

Round 3 – Keegan Lowe (D) 73rd overall – Lowe was traded to Montreal for a prospect of the same level, and he will likely not play in the NHL. He hasn’t developed as they would have hoped, and the Canes would want this pick back, with plenty of players taken after him who have a brighter future.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Pick was traded with Brandon Sutter and Brian Dumolin to Pittsburgh for Jordan Staal. I don’t like the trade much, as that’s a lot to give up for what I believe is at best a 2nd line centre. Carolina was not in any position to make a push for the Cup, and would have been better off keeping what was the 8th overall pick, especially with the likes of Filip Forsberg, Jacob Trouba, Tomas Hertl and many others still available.

Round 2 – Phil Di Giuseppe (LW) 38th overall – Giuseppe had 7 points in 36 NHL games, and likely won’t grow those production numbers any higher. Disappointing pick early in round 2, as Carolina needs all the help they can get offensively.

Round 2 – Brock McGinn (LW) 47th overall – Received this pick from San Jose for Ian White. Played in 57 NHL games this year, scoring only 16 points, which is disappointing. Carolina is weak up front, and will likely want to upgrade over McGinn if possible. Right now, he’ll need to have a good camp to stick with the team long-term.

Round 3 – Daniel Altshuller (G) 69th overall – Had great numbers this year in the ECHL, and average in the AHL. He’s a big goalie, but will need to have a better year next season if he’s ever hoping to be looked at as a potential NHL goaltender.

Note: Jaccob Slavin drafted 4th round. He has played in 145 games and is in the top-4 on Carolina currently, great young defender.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Elias Lindholm (C) 5th overall – Lindholm had 45 points in 72 NHL games, his 4th year in the league. He made the jump quickly, and has been growing his game each season. Carolina would definitely want to re-do this pick however, with Sean Monahan going after him in the draft. Lindholm is a good young player, but Monahan plays the game better at both ends of the rink.

Round 2 – Pick was traded to the Sabres for Andrej Sekera. The pick hasn’t turned into a great player (JT Compher), while Sekera played the better parts of 2 seasons in Carolina, before being flipped to LA for a 1st round pick in 2016. Great trade for Carolina here, as they benefited in two separate ways.

Round 3 – Brett Pesce (D) 66th overall – Played in all 82 games this year, and appears to be part of the blueline permanently in Carolina. He had a great year, despite playing on a weak Carolina team. Pesce can drive play well from the backend, and is dependable in his own end. Great find in round 3 by the Canes.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Haydn Fleury (D) 7th overall – One of the few players from the first round of this draft who’s yet to play an NHL game, Fleury has become a big disappointment for Carolina. Many better options were available, including William Nylander, Dylan Larkin, David Pastrnak, etc etc.

Round 2 – Alex Nedeljkovic (G) 37th overall – Made his NHL debut this year as an injury call-up, but spent most of the year in the ECHL/AHL. He had solid numbers in the ECHL, but struggled in the AHL. He’s likely a few years away from a legitimate shot, but is trending in the right direction.

Round 3 – Warren Foegele (C) 67th overall – Foegele had a great year in junior, and will start next year in the AHL. He’s not likely on the NHL radar anytime soon, but has been a great offensive player in his junior career, something which Carolina is in need of. Looks like a good pick in the 3rd round, as he has grown well since being drafted.

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Noah Hanifin (D) 5th overall – Hanifin has developed into a top-pairing D-man, which the Canes had hoped for. I don’t believe they would change this pick, as he fits their organizational need perfectly currently, and at that time.

Round 2 – Sebastian Aho (LW) 35th overall – Aho has turned into a steal at this pick, as he just turned in an impressive rookie campaign with 49 points in 82 games. If it were not for super rookies Auston Matthews and Patrick Laine, he’d be front and centre for rookie of the year. Great steal in round 2.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to Vancouver with a 7th round pick for Eddie Lack. Lack hasn’t been the starter they hoped for, and struggled mightily this season, but they didn’t give up a lot to get him, and needed a better backup than what they had at the time.

Carolina has missed on a few key picks, which could have shaped their organization a lot differently. They need offense and goaltending, and should be able to move some of their defense prospects/players to get some, because they haven’t been as successful as they’d hoped in drafting some.

Sources: www.hockeydb.com ; http://www.prosportstransactions.com/hockey/DraftTrades/Years/index.htm