GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dozens of children played ball hockey on the concrete floor of Gila River Arena on Friday, and about 4,000 fans filled one side of the lower level waiting to see how many pieces the Arizona Coyotes would add to their rebuilding project at the 2015 NHL Draft.
The center-ice scoreboard showed general manager Don Maloney working the phones in Sunrise, Fla. Rumors of possible trades were swirling through social media and from television analysts.
So when NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman walked to the podium before the Coyotes pick at No. 3 and announced "We have a trade," audible gasps filled the building.
But the trade Bettman was revealing involved the Buffalo Sabres and Colorado Avalanche, and the Coyotes drafted Ontario Hockey League scoring champ Dylan Strome, who had had 45 goals and 129 points for the Erie Otters.
"I had a good feeling that it would be [the Coyotes] if they were picking No. 3," Strome said. "I didn't know if they were picking until about a minute until they did pick. So I really had no idea up until that moment, but I'm extremely honored and proud to be a Coyote. I can't wait to get started."