The Arizona Coyotes selected Barrett Hayton from the OHL's Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds with the 5th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Hayton was ranked anywhere between seven and 18 with most of the independent scouting sites having him at 11.
Or GM John Chayka could do a John Chayka thing and go for Hayton.— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) June 23, 2018
This is not the first time General Manager John Chayka has gone off the board with his first round picks. He selected Clayton Keller with the seventh overall pick when Keller was ranked between eight and 13. In the 2017 draft he selected Pierre-Olivier Joseph with Minnesota’s 27th pick and Joseph was ranked anywhere from 13 to 33 with most sites not having him in their top 31. Those picks seem to be doing well. Keller was the first Coyotes rookie to ever be named as a Calder finalist and the team’s most productive rookie. Joseph was named captain, increased his regular season points per game from .63 to .73 and has doubled his playoff production for the Charlottetown Islanders. Not too shabby. It will be fun to see what Chayka’s latest surprise has in store.
Hayton is a 6’1” left shot center from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada that celebrated his 18th birthday just a few weeks ago on June 9. He has managed to put up an impressive record of 12-39-60 in 63 games as a third line center with the Greyhounds. Currently he is behind Tampa Bay Lightning prospects Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh but they will likely be making the jump to the AHL this coming season. He has been drawing comparisons to Patrice Bergeron and apparently models his game after the Boston Bruins top line center. Additionally Hayton is excited to join the Coyotes organization.
Barrett Hayton said the Coyotes were the franchise that he wanted to go to most for a variety of reasons. He got a very good feel for the franchise during interviews at the NHL Scouting Combine.— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) June 23, 2018
It has been reported that both Chayka and Coyotes’ Director of Amateur Scouting Tim Bernhardt have watched most, if not all, of Hayton’s games and couldn’t find much fault in his style of play.
“I’ve watched Barrett for the last two years,” Bernhardt told Arizona Sports Reporter Craig Morgan. “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.”
Chayka even described his interest in Hayton as an obsession:
The second and subsequent rounds will continue in Dallas tomorrow and can be viewed on NHL Network at 8 a.m. Arizona time.