The 2013 NHL Entry Draft is mere hours away and a new crop of teenagers and 20-year-old's will realize their dream of being drafted by an NHL Team. Smiles, handshakes and new, colorful sweaters will all be formalities as more than 200 aspiring professional hockey players will hear their names called over the Prudential Center's sound system .
The Phoenix Coyotes enter this year's draft in a very unique situation, both on and off the ice. The Yotes will be picking in the top dozen but are just one year removed from being a division champion and Western Conference finalist. They do not pick high enough in the draft to expect their first round selection to make an immediate impact at the NHL level, but they are high enough to trade up or down a few slots if need be. Off the ice, there is a real possibility that the players donning the Sedona Red Coyotes jerseys, will be doing so for the first and only time.
While the ownership story line will dominate Draft weekend and beyond, General Manager Don Maloney, Assistant General Manager Brad Treliving and Head Coach Dave Tippett still have a team to run and a future to better.
There is much debate about what strategy the Coyotes should use in the upcoming draft, especially in the first round. Should they draft the best player available? Or should they draft a forward no matter what? Should they move a roster player or prospect to move up in the draft to find an impact forward? Should they trade down and add more picks to increase the odds of striking gold because amateur drafts amount to a lottery of sorts anyway?
A plethora of options are available to an organization who has made the most of the least in recent years. While no one knows how Sunday's draft will play out, one thing is for sure; the Coyotes will have a new crop of young players who they hope will be pieces of the puzzle that eventually win the Stanley Cup. A Stanley Cup that the Desert Dogs were a mere seven wins away from achieving the last time the NHL played a full season.
Draft day is an exciting day where an influx of new blood, player movement and the hopes for the future all come together in a melting pot of hockey hopefulness. The off-season unofficially begins when the number one pick is officially on the clock. With the first pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, the Colorado Avalanche select....