The NHL Draft Lottery was held Saturday night and the Arizona Coyotes have been awarded the seventh pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. The Toronto Maple Leafs won the first overall pick.
Unfortunately for Coyotes fans, the team did not win the lottery, but they didn’t get pushed back any further from their original seventh position either. Heading into the Draft Lottery, the Coyotes chances of winning the the first overall pick were at 6.5 percent. So, it shouldn’t come as too much of a shock that the team didn’t win.
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The percentage may have been low, but the prize of winning the Lottery was one that hit close to home in Arizona. Auston Matthews, a kid from Scottsdale is projected to be drafted first overall and has drawn comparisons to the likes of Jonathan Toews. Needless to say, it would have been an offseason to remember to not only get a great player, but to have that player come from Arizona.
Alas, the Coyotes will miss out on Matthews, unless they decide to trade down, which is unlikely to happen. A trade is always an option and you can bet there will be speculation and rumors up until the draft, but trading for the first pick would not come cheap.
Acquiring the first overall pick alone would come with a hefty price tag. The entire NHL is aware of why the Coyotes would want Matthews aside from his on ice ability. This is something that the Leafs could use to drive the price up even higher.
Despite missing out on Matthews, the Coyotes are still in a good spot. They are stockpiled with young talent and at seven in a deep draft, they are still very much in position to acquire a very good player.
As mentioned before, the Coyotes system is stocked full of talented players, but they do have still have needs. Right now, that need is defense.
The 2016 draft is going to be one of the more deeper drafts and here are some names of defenseman to keep an eye on as possible targets for the Coyotes at seventh; Jakob Chychrun, Olli Juolevi, Jake Bean, Mikhail Sergachev, and Charlie McAvoy.
The 2016 NHL Entry Draft will be held June 24-25, and while Matthews will likely be playing in Toronto, there’s a little poetic justice for Coyotes fans in the fact that an Arizona born player is coveted by the epicenter of the NHL.