— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) April 19, 2015
The results are officially in. The Arizona Coyotes will receive the No. 3 overall selection in the 2015 NHL Draft following Saturday afternoon’s NHL Draft Lottery. The draft will be held June 26-27 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.
“We are very pleased to own the No. 3 overall selection in this year’s NHL Entry Draft,” said Coyotes Co-Owner, President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc in a team press release. “This is a very talented, deep draft and with the third overall pick, General Manager Don Maloney and our hockey operations department will explore all of our team’s options and make the best decision that adds a great player to our young, talented nucleus of players. We are looking forward to the Draft in Florida!”
It marks the second time in franchise history that Arizona has owned the third overall selection in the NHL Draft. The last time the ‘Yotes possessed the No. 3 pick was in 2007, when Arizona selected forward Kyle Turris.
After finishing the 2015-16 regular season with the second-worst record in the NHL behind the Buffalo Sabres, the slip to No. 3 leaves a bittersweet taste in the mouths of many ‘Yotes fans, as it means Arizona will likely miss out on the two biggest names dominating the pre-draft discussion in 18-year-old phenom Connor McDavid and Boston University’s Jack Eichel.
So where does that leave Arizona?
With McDavid and Eichel expected to be off the board by the time the ‘Yotes pick at No. 3, the focus will likely center on forward Dylan Strome and defenseman Noah Hanifin.
The younger brother of New York Islanders forward Ryan Strome, Dylan Strome not only has the bloodlines, but he was also a teammate of McDavid’s with the Erie Otters of the OHL, winning the OHL scoring title this past season.
Though he may lack Strome’s impressive bloodlines, Hanifin is regarded as one of the top players in college hockey, plying his trade with Boston College this past season. Hanifin is also experienced competing on the international stage with the United States’ U17, U18, and U20 teams.