The Coyotes received praise Monday for their dealing of Mikkel Boedker to the Colorado Avalanche.
At an impasse with contract negotiations and young forwards in the prospect pool, Boedker was dealt to the Avalanche for Alex Tanguay, 2014 first-round pick Conner Bleakley and 2014 third-round pick Kyle Wood.
The trade was well-received by ESPN.com’s Craig Custance, who gave the Coyotes an A-.
Arizona is proving this season that the rebuild can be ahead of schedule, and did well to get two prospects in Bleackley and Wood that can help them in the short term, rather than picks.
If taken at face value, this is like getting a first- and third-round pick for Boedker, since that was when Bleackley and Wood were drafted.
The short term impact is a good note. Prospects like Dylan Strome, Laurent Dauphin are on the way in a hurry and Max Domi and Anthony Duclair are already thriving in their rookie seasons.
Grabbing two players that are in a similar age range to their top prospects is a benefit to the Coyotes.
Custance, however, went on to note the concerns about Bleackley.
That said, there are concerns. First, neither is signed, which raises a red flag for one team’s amateur scouting director.
“The fact that neither is signed tells you something,” texted the head scout. “Bleackley has been disappointing.”
To politely rephrase the thoughts from one scout, Bleackley may have some conditioning issues. Colorado coach Patrick Roy wasn’t thrilled with how he showed up to training camp.
On the flip side, Wood has impressed.
Wood, on the other hand, has progressed nicely since being drafted in the third round. The Coyotes’ system desperately needs defensemen, since the focus has been on drafting skill up front. Wood is a nice addition.
He’s a big guy (6-foot-5) with a big shot. He’s not going to end up in Arizona’s top four, but it’s safe to project him as a fifth or sixth defenseman who can move the puck.
“He’s a big dude,” said the scout. “You’d like for him to be a little more physical, but he’s got a bomb of a shot. He’s a big body who skates pretty well, more of a shutdown guy that has a good first pass, but huge body.”
With a group of prospects dominated by high-caliber forwards, Arizona needs defensemen.
The Avalanche received a B from Custance.
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