The NHL Draft will begin at pick No. 3 with the Arizona Coyotes. We know Connor McDavid is going to Edmonton first overall and Jack Eichel will land with the Buffalo Sabres at No. 2. The real fun begins when it’s Don Maloney’s turn to decide what to do.
The Coyotes GM holds the cards for all the teams who want to move up to No. 3 and either grab Dylan Strome or Noah Hanifin, the likely two prospects who will be picked at that spot. Maloney can sit back and hear all the offers from teams desperate to move up. Or he could add another young piece to a growing list of top prospects in the organization.
Maloney said on Thursday that he knows who he will pick if the Coyotes hang on to No. 3, but that could change with one phone call, and he’s certainly received his fair share of offers for the pick.
"I guess I am surprised at the type of names being presented for trades, outright," Maloney said. "These are people that would fit into our future plans; existing NHL players. It speeds up your development timeline a little bit, so they are offers you really have to stop and consider.”
Maloney added that one team offered two mid-first round picks and a roster player. Winnipeg has Nos. 17 and 25 and Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has expressed an interest to move up. Columbus reportedly also covets that No. 3 pick, so when the Sabres announce Eichel as their pick and the clock turns to Arizona, it’ll be decision time.
Many have the Coyotes pegged as a team who will take salary dumps (Bryan Bickell, for example) as a way to get over the salary cap floor. That may be end up happening, but in this case Maloney won’t trade out of the No. 3 spot for that reason. He wants to add to his growing crop of young talent. It's a pretty good spot for him the organization to be in.
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