Arizona Coyotes GM ‘excited’ for potential franchise-changing NHL Draft

Jul 1, 2022, 5:08 PM
General manager Bill Armstrong of the Arizona Coyotes prepares for the first round of the 2021 NHL ...
General manager Bill Armstrong of the Arizona Coyotes prepares for the first round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft at Gila River Arena on July 23, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by NHL Images/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by NHL Images/NHLI via Getty Images)

The 2022 NHL Draft could potentially be a franchise-changing one for the Arizona Coyotes.

After a turbulent few years both on and off the ice that included a change in ownership and at the general manager position, the team currently holds seven of the first 45 picks of this year’s draft that will take place July 7-8 in Montreal.

“I think we’ve got a lot of experience on the staff, so you feel this little bit of tingling in your stomach and you’re excited because you know you’re going to walk out after both days with some really good players. That’s an exciting time,” Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong told reporters on Friday.

Arizona’s most prized selection is the No. 3 overall pick, with its two other first-round selections being No. 27 overall from the Carolina Hurricanes and No. 32 via the Colorado Avalanche.

The Coyotes also have four picks in the second round at No. 34 overall, No. 36 from the Philadelphia Flyers, No. 43 overall via the San Jose Sharks and No. 45 from the New York Islanders.

“When you go into the draft and you only have one pick in the third round, it’s not that exciting,” Armstrong said. “So the preparation leading into it has been outstanding from our group.

“We’ve been right on it since the start of last summer and it’s just continued to kind of push forward and we’re going to get a good player at No. 3, that’s the truth of it. So we’re just going to sit there and wait and let the other guys make a decision for us.”

Numerous NHL mock drafts have Canadian center Shane Wright going No. 1 overall to the Montreal Canadiens, with Slovakian forward Juraj Slafkovsky or American center Logan Cooley being taken with the second pick by the New Jersey Devils.

But after the Canadiens and Devils help the Coyotes in narrowing down who Arizona will select at No. 3 overall, Armstrong and Co. are looking for smart hockey players that will help turn the team around in perhaps the most important draft in franchise history.

“Hockey sense is our biggest thing that we look for,” Armstrong explained. “Without hockey sense, it’s hard to play in those championship moments. … And then from that point on, it’s size, speed skill. We go through the wringer and kind of put it together. Our staff is really good at putting the best player on the list and taking that best player with the ingredients that we need.

“That’s the way that we look at it. We never really go to the point where we draft a specific position and go buy everything else. It goes to the best player. If you can get the best player, even if you have too many of them, you can always trade great players.”

Penguin Air

Arizona Coyotes

Logan Cooley, #3 pick by the Arizona Coyotes, poses for a portrait during the 2022 Upper Deck NHL D...
Arizona Sports

Coyotes’ Logan Cooley to play for U.S. at World Junior Championship

Coyotes prospect Logan Cooley -- the 2022 No. 3 pick -- will represent the United States at the upcoming IIHF World Junior Championship.
20 hours ago
Head coach of the Cleveland Monsters John Madden looks on from behind the bench against the Laval R...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Coyotes hire assistant coach John Madden

John Madden joins Andre Tourigny's coaching staff after spending the last two seasons with the San Jose Sharks as an assistant.
13 days ago
Zack Kassian #44 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates a goal against the Ottawa Senators during the fi...
Sam Graveline

Armstrong: F Zack Kassian perfect fit for new style of ‘Coyotes hockey’

Among the many moves the Coyotes made during the NHL Draft, the sneaky acquisition of veteran forward Zack Kassian could be very important.
16 days ago
Conor Geekie is drafted by the Arizona Coyotes during Round One of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at...
Alex Weiner

Coyotes’ draftee Conor Geekie sets goal to make impact in 1st season

Arizona Coyotes first-rounder Conor Geekie says he believes he can make the NHL in Year 1 and have an impact.
20 days ago
Conor Geekie, #11 pick by the Arizona Coyotes, poses for a portrait during the 2022 Upper Deck NHL ...
Jake Anderson

Coyotes ink No. 11 overall pick Conor Geekie to 3-year entry-level deal

The Coyotes put pen to paper with forward Conor Geekie, who Arizona traded up to select No. 11 overall in the 2022 NHL Draft.
21 days ago
Logan Cooley smiles during a news conference after being selected as the third overall pick by the ...
Arizona Sports

Pittsburgh-native, Coyotes pick Logan Cooley says he was a Capitals fan

Pittsburgh native and Coyotes top draft pick Logan Cooley surprised Wolf & Luke by declaring himself a Capitals fan growing up.
23 days ago
Arizona Coyotes GM ‘excited’ for potential franchise-changing NHL Draft