The Coyotes’ management staff will be watching the Minnesota-St. Louis series with increased interest because it directly impacts their draft. When Arizona traded center Martin Hanzal and forward Ryan White to the Wild in February, it acquired Minnesota’s first-round pick in 2017, along with a second-round pick in 2018, a conditional 2019 fourth-round pick and minor-leaguer Grayson Downing.
The Blues lead the Wild 3-0 in their playoff series, with Game 4 on Wednesday in St. Louis. If the Blues win that series, the conditional pick in 2019 will remain a fourth-round pick, but this year’s pick could be higher than expected.
At the time of the trade, Minnesota held the top record in the Western Conference and first place in the Central Division. Assuming Minnesota loses, GM John Chayka said Tuesday that his understanding is that the pick could be as high as No. 23 after the playoffs are completed, depending on who advances to the conference finals.
Few saw that possibility coming, but that would be a valuable chip in addition to whatever pick the Coyotes gain from the NHL Draft Lottery on April 29 in Toronto.
Chayka is currently in Slovakia for the IIHF U18 World Championship.
Here is how the draft order is determined.
Round 1, picks 1-15: Determined by NHL Draft Lottery (Apr. 29)
Odds at No. 1 pick
Colorado Avalanche 18.0%
Vancouver Canucks 12.1%
*Vegas Golden Knights 10.3%
Arizona Coyotes 10.3%
New Jersey Devils 8.5%
Buffalo Sabres 7.6%
Detroit Red Wings 6.7%
Dallas Stars 5.8%
Florida Panthers 5.4%
Los Angeles Kings 4.5%
Carolina Hurricanes 3.2%
Winnipeg Jets 2.7%
Philadelphia Flyers 2.2%
Tampa Bay Lightning 1.8%
New York Islanders 0.9%
* — Vegas assigned same lottery odds as the team finishing the regular season in 28th place
Round 1, picks 16-31:
— Teams eliminated in rounds 1 and 2 who weren’t division champions in the regular season, in inverse order of points
— Teams eliminated in rounds 1 and 2 who were division champions in the regular season, in inverse order of points
— Picks 28-29: The two teams eliminated in the Conference Finals, in inverse order of points
— Pick 30: Stanley Cup runner-up
— Pick 31: Stanley Cup champion
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ADDITIONS
When the Coyotes cleaned out their lockers on April 10, coach Dave Tippett announced that defenseman Connor Murphy (USA), center Christian Dvorak (USA) and winger Tobias Rieder (Germany) would play in the IIHF World Championship from May 5-21 in Cologne, Germany and Paris, France.
USA Hockey announced on Friday that forward Clayton Keller had been added to its roster for the tournament. Dvorak and Keller will make their World Championship debuts, but both have played for Team USA at the IIHF World Junior Championships. Dvorak won a bronze medal with Team USA in 2016 and Keller led Team USA to a gold medal in 2017.
Murphy and Rieder have played at the World Championship the past three years. Head athletic trainer Jason Serbus will be on Team USA’s training staff.
ELKIN HOPES TO RETURN
Coyotes goalie coach Jon Elkin’s contract expires this season. Coach Dave Tippett said last week that the staff would “discuss all of the personnel issues over the next couple of weeks.”
Elkin, who has been Mike Smith’s personal coach for years, would like to return.
“I’m happy with the progress that the goalies have made and we feel we have a solid core from the NHL to the AHL,” Elkin said. “It’s an exciting group to work with.”
COYOTES SIGN MISKA
The Coyotes added to their goaltending prospect pool on Saturday when they signed Minnesota-Duluth freshman Hunter Miska to an entry-level contract a week after Miska ended an impressive freshman season with a 3-2 loss in the NCAA Championship game.
Miska, 21, had a 27-5-5 record with five shutouts and a 2.20 goals-against average for Duluth. His goals against average and .920 save percentage both ranked 16th nationally. He was one of five finalists for the Mike Richter Award, given annually to the NCAA’s best goaltender. He was the only freshman among the finalists.
“I’m stoked to be part of the Arizona Coyotes organization,” said Miska, who will attend the Coyotes development camp this summer. “It was tough for me to leave Duluth, but the Coyotes showed a lot of interest in me and trust in me during this process. Right after the season, a number of teams came after me and the Coyotes stood out.”
DOAN IN STUDIO
Shane Doan joined the NHL Live studio on NBCSN to serve as guest analyst on Monday and will do so again Tuesday for the playoffs.
EX-COYOTES IN PLAYOFFS
There are 16 former Coyotes in the playoffs (unless we missed somebody). It hadn’t been a productive spring for those players until Monday night. While three are goalies, two of which are not playing, ex-Coyotes had combined for one point through Sunday’s playoff games. Antoine Vermette, Michael Stone and Kyle Turris all recorded points on Monday.
Here is a look at those players.
D Michal Rozsival-Blackhawks: Hasn’t played
F Scottie Upshall-Blues: 3 games, no points
F Sam Gagner-Blue Jackets: 3 games, 1 assist, minus-3
G Al Montoya-Canadiens: Hasn’t played
F Daniel Winnik-Capitals: 3 games, no points, minus-1
F Antoine Vermette-Ducks: 3 games, 1 assist
G Chad Johnson-Flames: Hasn’t played
D Michael Stone-Flames: 3 games, one goal, two big defensive mistakes
G Curtis McElhinney-Maple Leafs: Hasn’t played
F Vern Fiddler-Predators: Hasn’t played
F Kyle Turris-Senators: 3 games, 1 assist
F Mikkel Boedker-Sharks: 2 games, no points, minus-1, scratched on Sunday
D David Schlemko-Sharks: 3 games, no points, key turnover on Edmonton’s game-winning goal on Sunday
G Devan Dubnyk-Wild: 3 games, 1.87 GAA, .923 SP
F Martin Hanzal-Wild: 3 games, no points, minus-1
F Ryan White-Wild: 1 game, no points
— There are no ex-Coyotes playing for the Penguins, Oilers, Bruins or Rangers (New York’s Oscar Lindberg never played a game for the Coyotes).