Draft Preview – Arizona Coyotes


Leading up to the 2015 NHL Entry Draft on June 26th, Tyler Brenton of Frozen Futures will be evaluating the teams in the NHL’s Western Conference. 

The draft is quickly approaching, as there are only four sleeps remaining until Connor McDavid’s name is called by the Edmonton Oilers. For the rest of the teams, Buffalo omitted, there will be a couple surprises. Will a team reach for a player such as Timo Meier or Evgeny Svechnikov inside the top 10? How high will Lawson Crouse go? Will my team take one of those guys? Well, if you’re a fan of a team in the Western Conference, you’ve come to the right spot.

The Arizona Coyotes hold eight picks in this year’s NHL Draft, with four of eight being in the top 60 picks. The Coyotes have some youth coming through their system, however there are currently a lot of openings in their lineup. This draft is huge for the future of the Coyotes and they cannot afford to make a mistake at the draft table.

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Arizona Coyotes

2015 Draft Picks
Round 1 – Pick 3
Round 1 – Pick 30
Round 2 – Pick 32
Round 2 – Pick 60
Round 3 – Pick 63
Round 3 – Pick 81
Round 5 – Pick 123
Round 7 – Pick 183

Prospects in the System

Arizona has top-end prospects such as Max Domi and Anthony Duclair who are set to break into the NHL next season. Brandon Gormley has received a taste of what it’s like to play in the big league, and he should be an NHL regular next year.

The Coyotes also have a few interesting prospects on the wing such as Lucas Lessio, Brendan Perlini and Christian Dvorak. These guys all project to be future contributers at the NHL level.

Rounding out the top end of their system are talents such as Henrik Samuelsson, Ryan MacInnis, Laurent Dauphin down the middle, with goaltender Mark Visentin who didn’t play last season due to an ankle injury.


Presently, Arizona does not have a deep group of forwards in the NHL. Due to the injuries of Mikkel Boedker and Martin Hanzal, their highest scoring forward was Sam Gagner with 41 points. Outside of Boedker, Hanzal and Gagner, the Coyotes lack top 6 options. Shane Doan turns 39 in October and should be pushed down the lineup as youth is injected into the team. Tobias Reider had a strong rookie season and should look to build on it.


The Coyotes iced a relatively young defense last year after Keith Yandle was traded to the Rangers. Oliver Ekman-Larsson led their entire team in scoring with 43 points. The rest of their defense was formed  an under-25 groupd comprised of Michael Stone, Connor Murphy, John Moore, Brandon Gormley and Klas Dahlbeck. That’s a ton of youth, but again, the group lacks high-end talent outside of OEL.


33-year old Mike Smith is signed until 2019 at a caphit of 5.6M. The Coyotes also let rookie Louis Domingue get 4 starts last year after they dealt Devan Dubnyk to the Minnesota Wild. Are the Coyotes kicking themselves for trading Dubnyk? Probably. However, Dubnyk is looking for a ridiculous amount as a free agent this summer.

What will they look for at the draft?

This organization needs a lot of help in a lot of areas. Selecting third overall brings a lot of interesting options however I believe the Coyotes will go with Dylan Strome of the Erie Otters. It’s hard to pass up someone who may become a future top center.

I believe there’s a chance that Daniel Sprong slips to the final pick of the first round and Arizona will be quick to snatch him up. They are extremely shallow on the right side and Sprong adds some extra excitement to their prospect pool.

As we saw, the goaltending position is pretty barren in Phoenix. Mike Smith has not been a reliable option and long-term Mark Visentin may not develop into a number one starter like he was once expected to. I think the Coyotes will go for Mackenzie Blackwood if he is available at pick 32, otherwise they wait for pick 60 to take a goaltender.

To round out the first two rounds I think the Coyotes take a stab at a defensemen such as Matthew Spencer or Ryan Pilon. There are a lot of defensemen who project around this pick, but I believe it’s difficult to pass up on the right-handedness of Spencer.

2015 Potential Draft Picks
Round 1 – Pick 3 –Dylan Strome
Round 1 – Pick 30 – Daniel Sprong
Round 2 – Pick 32 – Mackenzie Blackwood
Round 2 – Pick 60 – Matthew Spencer
Round 3 – Pick 63 – Roope Hintz
Round 3 – Pick 81 – Blake Speers
Round 5 – Pick 123 –Anthony Cirelli
Round 7 – Pick 183 – Guillaume McSween

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