As examined last week the 2017 NHL Entry Draft was big for the Arizona Coyotes, but mostly because of trades that were involved in that draft. The 2016 NHL Draft was also very important for the modern Coyotes, but again it took significant moves to make that happen. While the Coyotes didn’t make as many moves, many of the players drafted have remained with the Coyotes organization.
The Coyotes were deep in their rebuild when the 2016 draft came along. They had just missed out on the chance to draft Arizona native Auston Matthews, and General Manager Don Maloney had been replaced by Assistant General Manager John Chayka.
7th - Clayton Keller - 167 NHL games, 37-77-114
16th - Jakob Chychrun - 171 NHL games, 16-38-54
68th - Cam Dineen - 57 AHL games, 3-9-12
158th - Patrick Kudla - 54 Slovakia games with HC Nove Zamky, 5-21-26
188th - Dean Stewart - 96 NCAA games, 5-28-33
The Coyotes had acquired the New York Rangers first-round pick along with John Moore, Anthony Duclair, and Tampa Bay’s second-round pick for Keith Yandle, Chris Summers, and the 98th overall pick. The Coyotes would then send this pick, Joe Vitale, and the 53rd overall pick to the Detroit Red Wings for Pavel Datsyuk’s cap hit and the 16th overall pick.
The Coyotes traded the 37th overall pick to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Tony DeAngelo
The 128th overall pick was traded to the Dallas stars in exchange for Alex Goligoski who was on an expiring contract. The Coyotes would re-sign Goligoski.
In 2016 the Arizona Coyotes did far less wheeling and dealing. It was the first draft where John Chayka was General Manager and you can see a lot of moves that have come to define his tenure. For the first time he would trade up to draft a defenseman that he really liked, he would take on another team’s cap hit, and he made an unconventional move in trading for Goligoski’s rights. Trading for Tony DeAngelo would eventually lead to the Coyotes acquiring Antti Raanta and Derek Stepan from the New York Rangers.
In terms of the picks used the Coyotes would go hard on defensemen. Chychrun would make the jump right away but outside of the two players in the first round none of the players the Coyotes drafted have made the leap to the NHL. It wasn’t a bad draft for the Coyotes, but the team needed to do more to have a bigger impact.
What do you think of the 2016 draft? Did John Chayka do a good job in his first draft? Should the Coyotes have targeted more forwards in the later rounds?