The Desert Dog Blog: Draft Will Be Shaped By Unforeseen Moves

Monday, 06.20.2011 / 1:53 PM / 2011 Draft Central
By Dave Vest
GLENDALE – The 2011 NHL Entry Draft is this weekend and I'm excited to be going to Minnesota to cover it for Coyotes' fans. Make sure to visit our 2011 NHL Draft microsite at phoenixcoyotes.com all week for exclusive, Coyotes-specific Draft content, especially as it unfolds on Friday and Saturday...



So, I may be in the minority on this one, but I’m not a big fan of mock NHL drafts. Why? Because once picks and trades start happening on the floor at the draft, its dynamics change and dominoes start falling in various directions. Trust me. There will be unforeseen twists and turns. It’s inevitable.

Take last year, for instance. Not in its wildest dreams did the Coyotes’ brain trust expect defenseman Brandon Gormley to be waiting for them when they picked 13th overall; most experts believed Gormley would be a top 3-10 pick. With Gormley still available, the Coyotes quickly adjusted their strategy accordingly and raced to the stage to snatch him.

As of today, the Coyotes have eight picks in this year’s NHL Draft, including one in the first round (No. 20 overall). At this point, trying to predict which player they will be able to draft first - should they even keep the No. 20 pick - is challenging, to say the least. Clearly it depends on what the 19 teams picking ahead of them do and/or if last-minute trades are made that affect the order in which they pick.

Having written that, Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney has said the team is seeking depth at the center position at this draft.

• Click here to read about 11 centers who are expected to be drafted early this year.

Maloney also said, in an exclusive interview with phoenixcoyotes.com, that the Coyotes are open to trading a draft pick(s) this year in order to acquire NHL talent for next season.

• Click here to watch the interview with Maloney.



Below are the Coyotes’ picks in the 2011 NHL Draft, which is being staged in Saint Paul, Minn., this Friday (Round 1 on Versus) and Saturday (Rounds 2-7 on NHL Network):

• Round 1: One pick - No. 20 overall
• Round 2: Two picks - Nos. 51 and 56 (via PHI)
• Round 3: No picks*
• Round 4: One pick - No. 111
• Round 5: One pick - No. 141
• Round 6: One pick - No. 155 (via NYI)
• Round 7: Two picks - Nos. 196 and 201 (via NYR)

*NOTE: If the Philadelphia Flyers sign goalie Ilya Bryzgalov before the third round of the draft begins on Saturday, the Coyotes will acquire Philadelphia’s third-round pick in the draft - No. 84 overall.



OK, so let’s assume the Coyotes don’t make any trades and keep the 20th overall pick. What type of player will they get? Check out the list below of the last 10 players to be selected with the 20th overall pick at the NHL Draft. For more info on each player, click his name and you will be redirected to his profile at hockeydb.com.

• 2010: Forward Beau Bennett: Drafted by Pittsburgh - 0 NHL games played

• 2009: Forward Jacob Josefson: Drafted by New Jersey - 28 NHL games played

• 2008: Defenseman Michael Del Zotto: Drafted by New York Rangers - 127 NHL games played

• 2007: Forward Angelo Esposito: Drafted by Pittsburgh - 0 NHL games played

• 2006: Defenseman David Fischer: Drafted by Montreal - 0 NHL games played

• 2005: Forward Kenndal McArdle: Drafted by Florida - 33 NHL games played

• 2004: Forward Travis Zajac: Drafted by New Jersey - 408 NHL games played

• 2003: Defenseman Brent Burns: Drafted by Minnesota - 453 NHL games played

• 2002: Forward Daniel Paille: Drafted by Buffalo - 312 NHL games played

• 2001: Forward Marcel Goc: Drafted by San Jose - 389 NHL games played

Martin Brodeur
Without question, the most noteworthy 20th overall pick in the history of the NHL Draft is future Hall-of-Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur (in 1990 by New Jersey).

Brodeur owns NHL records for regular-season wins and shutouts, as well as three Stanley Cup championships and four Vezina Trophies.

By the way, Brodeur was the second goalie picked in the 1990 Draft behind Trevor Kidd, whom Calgary selected with the 11th overall pick.

Other noteworthy 20th picks include Larry Robinson (1971) and Michel Goulet (1979).

FYI, the Coyotes never have had the 20th overall pick in the NHL Draft until this year.



Back to mock drafts. Clearly, several staff members at NHL.com do not agree with me regarding their value and have produced one for 2011. I invite you to take a look at:

Mike G. Morreale's mock draft
Adam Kimelman's mock draft
Steven Hoffner's mock draft
Deven Persaud's mock draft



I will end this blog with a reminder about the Coyotes' Bud Light NHL Draft Party being held at 18 Degrees Neighborhood Grill at the Ice Den Center in Scottsdale. The party is this Friday, June 24, and it starts at 3:30 p.m. It should be lots of fun for all.

FYI, I’m told Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris will stop by to mingle with fans. Click here for more information.

Reach Dave Vest at thedesertdogblog@phoenixcoyotes.com and follow him on Twitter @davest4yotes.
 
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