GLENDALE – The Coyotes on Tuesday announced that Tim Bernhardt has been promoted to Director of Amateur Scouting, a position he knows quite well having filled that role for the Dallas Stars from 1998-2011.
"I’ve done this before," Bernhardt told reporters during a conference call shortly after the team announced his promotion. "You have to really be able to listen to your scouts. That’s one of the real strengths (we had) in Dallas. We were able to go right through seven rounds of the draft just by having people know a lot about a little as opposed to a little about a lot. That was our philosophy and I think it worked pretty well, and that’s what we’re going to try and move forward with here in Phoenix."
When the 2013-14 season ended in April, Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney asked Bernhardt, who was serving as Assistant Director of Amateur Scouting after a short stint with the team as an amateur scout, if he’d be willing to take over for Rick Knickle, who is no longer with the team.
"I think Rick is a good talent evaluator, however I just felt he wasn’t suited in the head role of running a staff," Maloney said. "… I’ve known Tim for a long time. He’s obviously a natural person to promote to run our staff. If you look at his track record, he did a real good job with Dallas acquiring assets and that’s what we think he can do for us."
Despite getting a late start in such a key role, Maloney said Bernhardt has been "very involved" in the team’s preparations for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, which is June 27-28 in Philadelphia.
"There’s no question, whatsoever, in my mind that we’ll be more than prepared to have a great draft," Maloney said.
The Coyotes have eight picks in the upcoming draft, including No. 12 overall and three of the first 58.
"There’s players that we’re looking at (for the 12th pick) and we’re confident in those players," Bernhardt said. "We’ll be happy to get any of them, and maybe if they’re all there then maybe you move back. We have a good group of players in behind them that we’re confident with. We’re happy with the way it sets up."
Bernhardt, 56, was with the Stars from 1993-2011, when they drafted players such as Marty Turco (1994), Mike Smith (2001), and Jamie Benn (2007). All of those players were fifth-round picks.
"The thing about the draft is you’re not always going to mine gold in the first round," Bernhardt said. "You’re going to have your misses there … but the key is the body of work and to try to work through seven rounds of the draft because there are players there and you just have to find them. That’s what we did in Dallas and that’s what I’m most proud of."
The Coyotes also announced Tuesday that Jeff Twohey, 53, would serve as Assistant Director of Amateur Scouting under Bernhardt. Bernhardt said the two go way back from when Twohey served as a part-time scout for Dallas.
"It’s a big job," Bernhardt said. "The players are spread out just so far now. It’s really good to have two guys that can work closely together and it’s really going to be beneficial."
Twohey is re-joining the Coyotes after serving two seasons as the General Manager of the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League. He was an amateur scour for Phoenix from 2010-12.
"I'm really happy to be back with the Coyotes," Twohey said. "I loved my previous time there and missed the organization and Arizona when I was gone. It's a privilege to work for Don Maloney, a man that I have great respect for, and to re-join a great scouting staff, all of whom I know well and have a great relationship with. I couldn't be happier to be re-joining such a top-notch organization."
He added, "I have known Tim Bernhardt for a long time and there are few people in scouting with his experience and expertise. He's a good friend and I'm really happy and excited to be working with him."
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