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Desert Dog Blog: Coyotes Preparing for NHL Draft

GLENDALE — The 2011 NHL Entry Draft is fast approaching next week so I figured today was a good day to provide Coyotes fans with the basic information. Keep in mind, a 2011 NHL Entry Draft microsite will be launched at phoenixcoyotes.com shortly to provide fans with more in-depth coverage of the Coyotes – and the draft itself – during this critical time in the off-season.

For now, here’s the skinny: The draft will be staged at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn., on June 24 and 25. Round 1 will take place on June 24 (starting at 4 p.m. AZ time) and be televised on Versus. Rounds 2-7 will take place on June 25 (starting at 8 a.m. AZ time) and will be televised on the NHL Network.

As of today, the Coyotes have eight picks in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. The NHL will release the exact order of selection for Rounds 2-7 after the Stanley Cup Final concludes.

• Round 1: One pick – No. 20 overall
• Round 2: Two picks (one via PHI)
• Round 3: No picks*
• Round 4: One pick
• Round 5: One pick
• Round 6: One pick (via NYI)
• Round 7: Two picks (one via NYR)

NOTE: If the Philadelphia Flyers sign goalie Ilya Bryzgalov before the third round of the draft begins on June 25, the Coyotes will acquire Philadelphia’s third-round pick in the draft.

• Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney, Assistant General Manager Brad Treliving and the entire scouting department took part in a two-hour conference call on Tuesday morning to touch base once again about the draft.

The results of the recent NHL Combine were a hot topic, and Coyotes Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Mike Bahn was on the line and provided an in-depth breakdown on the numbers. Players who did well and players who did not do well were discussed.

The Coyotes’ brain trust will leave for the draft early next week to set up shop and to conduct follow-up interviews with a dozen or so potential draft picks. Maloney and Treliving briefly interviewed about 80 players during the NHL Combine in Toronto.

• Because he played for him when both were with Calgary not too long ago, I asked Coyotes defenseman Adrian Aucoin for his reaction to the Coyotes hiring Jim Playfair as an Associate Coach.

Let’s just say he approves.

“I learned more in my two years as a Flame from Jim than I did throughout my entire career,” Aucoin said. “His goal was to have the best defensive core in the NHL and I’m sure he will have the same agenda here. The fact that he has the experience of being an NHL head coach is just one of many reasons that our team is lucky to have him.”

For those who don’t know, Playfair and Treliving go back a long way. Both were with the Indianapolis Ice of the International Hockey League in the early 1990s; Treliving was a player and Playfair was just starting as a coach. Like Aucoin, Treliving is thrilled that Playfair has joined the Coyotes’ coaching staff.

“His forte is teaching the details of playing the position of defenseman,” Treliving said. “And that includes everything from stick positioning to ice awareness. He has a very detailed approach to playing that position.”

FYI…

• Doug Sulliman will not return to the coaching staff in 2011-12. Sulliman has left the team to pursue other endeavors.

• The Ice Den in Scottsdale, where the Coyotes sometimes practice, is adding a third rink. Click here to read more.

• Despite their ups and downs in the playoffs and the pressure, I still believe Vancouver will win the Stanley Cup.

Reach Dave Vest via
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For information on upcoming Phoenix Coyotes games, please visit http://coyotes.nhl.com