Now that the dust has settled, the 2022 NHL draft has concluded. What a crazy two days. Such an unpredictable draft that made it entertaining to watch. Two months ago, Shane Wright was the obvious choice for the Montreal Canadians. Only a couple of weeks ago, Juraj Slafkofsky was gaining some attention. After the draft, we look at what happened and why it was such a great day to be a Coyotes fan. First, we had seven picks in the top 45 heading into the draft. That should excite anybody. Now let’s take a look at who the Coyotes drafted.
The Canadians shocked the city of Montreal, who were also the hosts of this draft, when they selected Slovakian winger Juraj Slafkovsky. This led to Simon Nemec going to the Devils 2nd overall, which brought the Coyotes to a very interesting situation. Do you pick the player that has expressed interest in playing for you or the player that doesn’t seem very interested? The Coyotes took Logan Cooley. Cooley was our guy, and we didn’t want to pick anyone else. Logan Cooley is a highly dynamic player with excellent skillsets to make for a perfect first-line center sometime soon.
The Coyotes were not up to pick until the 27th pick in the draft. That was until Bill Armstrong traded the following picks, 27,34,45, to the San Jose Sharks for pick 11, which is excellent value for moving up by that many picks. With the 11th selection, the Coyotes took centermen Coner Geekie. A big guy standing in at 6’3 is hard to come by nowadays. He is a great skater and can shoot the puck. He must mature just a little until he can reach his full potential. Great pick and trade, and I think Geekie could be a great player for the Coyotes. So now that’s Cooley and Geekie with picks 3 and 11 in the draft.
After several picks, the Coyotes make a trade taking on the contract of Zack Kassian. They also acquired pick 29 and more future selections. With the 29th pick in the NHL draft, the Coyotes took defenseman Maveric Lamoureux. Bit of a stretch with where he was projected to go, but I like it. He is a huge guy standing in at 6’7, and if he can develop into a solid defenseman four or five years down the road. I think the Coyotes like his size and can make him a good defenseman, which is ideal.
The Coyotes wrapped up the first round with Lamoureux. For the first round, I like the picks. Cooley will be a stud and hopefully become a first-line center. Geekie will be a top-six forward someday. Lamoureux may be a project, but I could eventually see him as a top-six defenseman.
In the second round, the Coyotes had two picks. With the 36th pick, the Coyotes took defenseman Artyom Duda. Duda is 6’1 and an excellent two-way defenseman who can add a sneaky scoring touch to his game—following up with that, the Coyotes took German winger Julian Lutz, a great skater with an excellent offensive sense in his game as well. Both players are well-rounded. Duda will take a little longer to develop, but hopefully, he will be a good NHL player. The Coyotes had five more picks in the rest of the draft drafting Miko Matikka, Jermey Langlois, Matthew Morden, Maksymilian Szuber, and Adam Zlinka.
This draft added what the Coyotes are looking for, grit and speed. Guys like Lamoureux, who is 6’7, or a 6’3 Coner Geekie. Coming out of this draft, the Coyotes were better than they were going into it. Now you have a Logan Cooley you can rely on in challenging situations. I would give the Coyotes a B+ for this draft. Extra points for the staff dressing the same, exiting future the Coyotes.
Lets go Yotes!