Arizona Coyotes 2018 – Development Camp, Prospect & Draft Updates

Keith Duggan

2018-07-02

Arizona Coyotes July 31-in-31 

 

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 I must admit, going into the 2018 Draft I was very confident the Coyotes were going to draft Brady Tkachuk fifth overall. I told anyone that would listen to me and honestly, I don’t think they even listened to me, but I was sure this was happening. On draft night everything was playing out as I thought and then bam, Ottawa goes out and drafts Tkachuk fourth overall. Oh well, Arizona will now draft Filip Zadina I thought, how could they pass on him or at worst they take one of the many mobile defensemen. Then they go out and shock pretty much everyone, drafting center Barrett Hayton. That officially killed (I’m guessing) everyone’s mock drafts. Then, after the first round it came out that general manager John Chayka had his mind pretty much set on Hayton and even if Tkachuk was still there at fifth the Coyotes probably wouldn’t have drafted him anyway, so yeah, just shows what I know, and that the Arizona GM is an unpredictable guy. My twitter feed on draft night was filled with people ripping this pick and I must agree, passing on Zadina might be regrettable in a few years. But hey, let’s give it some time, remember in 2016 when Chayka drafted Clayton Keller seventh overall and shocked everyone and that looks like it’s working out just fine now.

 

First-round: Fifth overall, Barrett Hayton/Center

 Shortly after the pick, columnist/Coyotes writer for Arizona Sports and NHL.com, Craig Morgan said to Chayka: “Another curveball.” The Coyotes General Manager quipped back: “It won’t be in a few years.” Hayton played for one of the best and deepest teams in juniors last season, the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, so he was a little buried and played some sheltered minutes. That explains why his stats weren’t overwhelming, 21 goals and 60 points in 63 games. Coyotes director of amateur scouting Tim Bernhardt also feels the stats don’t tell the whole story with Hayton. “I’ve watched Barrett for the last two years,” Bernhardt said. “He kept passing the test of time, getting better and better. He’s not overly flashy but when you watch the subtleties in his game, the details in his game and how competitive he is, that was something that really drew us to him. That 200-foot game is the name of his game; a Jonathan Toews type of game.” Like Bernhardt, Chyka watched Hayton a lot. He said he watched 10 games live and “started getting obsessed with him around Christmas time,” eventually watching all his games on tape as the draft drew closer. The Coyotes had about a zillion quote’s on how great this pick was after the draft and even skeptics of the selection like me started coming around. Hayton is expected to play at least one more season of junior and have a more expanded role with the Greyhounds this coming campaign, along with having very good chance to play for Canada at the 2019 World Juniors.  Fantasy wise it’s hard to say what kind of impact Hayton will have at the NHL level. Will he be the next Patrice Bergeron or Jonathan Toews? My guess is he won’t be on their level, but Hayton won’t be a fourth line plug either. Probably maxing out at a second line center who averages around 50 points or so a season, but it will be interesting to see what he does offensively in the OHL with an expanded role.

 

Second-round: 55th overall, Kevin Bahl / Defense

 At 6-6 and 216 lbs, Bahl is a large man. He’s also expected to grow another inch or so along with continuing to put muscle and weight on his growing body. Despite his size, Bahl is anything but a plodding, big lug on the ice. “He’s well-coordinated for a kid that big and he’s got a mean streak to him,” said Bernhardt. “For a big guy, he moves pretty well, and his mobility is only going to get better…He’s a real hard-to-play against player and you need those types. We have some smaller defensemen coming and he just brings us some real good balance.” Bahl has worked with current Coyotes skating coach Dawn Braid in the past when he was in bantam and admits she had a huge influence on him. Bahl played on Ottawa’s top defense pair and was a leader on a young team. In his second OHL season for the Ottawa 67’s he had 18 points (one