ARIZONA COYOTES

NHL Draft grades: Coyotes receive mixed bag for trio of 1st-round picks

Jul 8, 2022, 9:49 AM | Updated: 9:51 am
(@ArizonaCoyotes Photo)...
(@ArizonaCoyotes Photo)
(@ArizonaCoyotes Photo)

The Arizona Coyotes exited the first-round of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft on Thursday night with a trio of prospects.

After using the third overall pick in the draft on forward Logan Cooley, the Coyotes turned around and made a pair of trades to secure pick Nos. 11 and 29, which were used to select center Conor Geekie and defenseman Maveric Lamoureux.

A look at how those around the league graded Arizona’s haul from Day 1 of the NHL Entry Draft:

Logan Cooley (No. 3 overall)

Sporting News (Bryan Murphy)

Grade: B

Reasoning: “The free-fall for Shane Wright continues. The Coyotes elect to go with Logan Cooley, the top American prospect. He’s a strong, two-way center of smaller size, but he has an extremely high hockey IQ. He’s a strong pick and I would have given the Coyotes an A had Wright been selected before, but I’m not sure Cooley’s a better pick, especially since the two play the same position.”

For The Win (Mary Clarke)

Grade: A-

Reasoning: “The Coyotes went with Logan Cooley, who is quite the dynamic player. For a franchise like Arizona that needs some excitement on their roster, Cooley will provide that and then some for this team’s offense.”

Bleacher Report (Adam Herman)

Grade: B-

Reasoning: “If a crystal ball predicted 24 hours ago that the Coyotes would land Logan Cooley at third overall, that would have been tremendous news for Arizona. He will be a top-six center in the NHL and has the kind of individual skills that can draw fans to a team that wants to grow an audience. But passing on Shane Wright is nothing short of stunning here.”

Conor Geekie (No. 11 overall)

Sporting News

Grade: C-

Reasoning: “He’s an imposing figure on offense and his size makes him tough to play against along the wall. While he’s built like a power forward, his style more emulates a playmaker, as he’s displayed a soft touch. The skating is a concern and he is on the slower side. While I like the player, I don’t see him worthy of giving up the draft capital that the Coyotes did in order to take their second center of the draft.”

For The Win

Grade: B-

Reasoning: “While Conor Geekie’s skating may not be up to par just yet, his hockey IQ makes him a great utility center with offensive upside. The Coyotes may not be anything to talk about right now, but in a few years from now players like Geekie and Cooley will make their marks on the league.”

Bleacher Report

Grade: D+

Reasoning: “The Coyotes came into the draft with seven picks in the first two rounds, and they used a few to move up to 11th overall. Conor Geekie’s makeup is very uncommon, and if everything goes right, he could be a top-line center. More likely, he’s a middle-six center. The Coyotes grabbed him too early—particularly given that they had to give up draft picks to make this happen.”

Maveric Lamoureux (No. 29 overall)

Sporting News

Grade: D+

Reasoning: “His size is the biggest draw, as he stands at 6-7. Despite his height, Lamoureux is actually a pretty good skater and handles the puck fairly well. This is certainly a pick that is going to be a work in progress, and while I think Lamoureux can be a fine defender, his size is the only thing that screams “first-round.” Arizona certainly can afford to take a risk after having two other picks earlier in the night, but I don’t like reaching for Lamoureux here.”

For The Win

Grade: C

Reasoning: “At six-foot-seven, Maveric Lamoureux is a hulk of a hockey player. While his offensive game isn’t that special, Lamoureux’s got great reach and defensive acumen while also bodying players around with his size.”

Bleacher Report

Grade: C-

Reasoning: “Lamoureux is a big—and I’m talking almost 6’7″—shutdown defenseman with decent skating and passing ability. If he makes the NHL, I think he likely tops out as a third-pairing D-man. The Coyotes reached for Lamoureux, and he was not one of my top five available blue liners.”

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NHL Draft grades: Coyotes receive mixed bag for trio of 1st-round picks