PHILADELPHIA – The Coyotes entered the 2014 NHL Entry Draft with eight picks and they left town on Saturday night with nine new prospects.
“I think things went well,” Director of Amateur Scouting Tim Bernhardt said. “We here hoping to get Brendan Perlini (in the first round on Friday) and we got him. That was a good start, and I think today it fell really well for us. There’s always one or two players you might have missed out on that you wanted to get, but overall I think the staff is very pleased.”
The Coyotes selected seven forwards and two defensemen.
|Brendan Perlini. Photo by Getty Images |
Perlini, a big, versatile forward, was the first player the Coyotes added to the mix with the No. 12 pick. In 58 games with Niagara (OHL) last season, he notched 34 goals and 37 assists.
Perlini comes from a hockey family; his father Fred played briefly for the Toronto Maple Leafs and his brother Brett was drafted by Anaheim in the seventh round in 2010.
Brendan was born in England and was raised there until age 12.
“Living over there and playing over there, obviously it’s not the biggest hockey market, but I learned to play the game the right way and develop my skills,” he said. “I learned to play on the Olympic ice and it was a very fun time over there. I wouldn’t trade it in for the world.”
The Coyotes began the second day of the draft by selecting center Ryan MacInnis, son of Hall-of-Famer Al MacInnis, with the 43rd overall pick.
|Ryan MacInnis. Photo by Getty Images. |
“He’s taught me everything about hockey and just keeps teaching me as we go on today,” MacInnis said of his dad.
Regarding his dad’s famous shot, MacInnis said he’s hoping to match its velocity someday.
MacInnis, who prides himself on his two-way game, notched 16 goals and 21 assists in 66 games with Kitchener (OHL) last season.
The Coyotes followed the MacInnis pick by drafting forward Christian Dvorak later in the second round (58th overall).
Dvorak notched six goals and eight assists for London (OHL) in 33 games. His season was shortened by five months because of a knee injury in December.
The Coyotes like his hockey smarts.
“I’m someone the coach can trust in any situation,” Dvorak said.
Arizona was supposed to pick again at No. 73, but it traded the pick to Montreal for the 87th pick and the 117th pick.
With the 87th pick, the Coyotes selected Swedish forward Anton Karlsson.
“We thought Anton was going to be a lot higher pick than he was, and when we saw he was still available it was an easy decision for us,” Bernhardt said.
Karlsson plays a physical game, and he lists Mats Sundin as one of his idols.
“I like the way he played,” Karlsson said. “He was a big player, like me, and he liked to take the puck and do nice goals.”
Karlsson totaled 12 goals and 10 assists in 28 games with Frolunda's U-20 team last season.
After drafting forwards with their first four picks, the Coyotes selected another forward - Michael Bunting - with the 117th pick.
|Christian Dvorak. Photo by Getty Images. |
Bunting is a feisty player who likes to agitate opponents yet chip in big numbers offensively.
Last season, he netted 15 goals and 27 assists in 48 games with Sault Ste. Marie (OHL).
He’s a well–rounded athlete who is eager to take the next step in his career.
“The work starts now,” Bunting said. “I’m going to enjoy this day but when the next day comes I’ve got to know that this is a lot of work and it all starts now. I’m not going to give up.”
The Coyotes selected defensemen Dysin Mayo and David Westlund with their next two picks, Nos. 133 and 163, respectively. Neither player attended the draft.
Bernhardt described Mayo as “a great skater and a really good puck mover” and Westlund as a “big defensive defenseman with lots of potential.”
With the draft nearing an end, Arizona chose forward Jared Fiegl with the 191st pick.
Fiegl, who did not attend the draft, is headed to Cornell University for four years, and the Coyotes are hoping he can use his size to develop a strong offensive game there.
Last season, he notched one goal and four assists in 37 games with the USA U-18 team.
Arizona concluded its draft by selecting Memorial Cup MVP Edgars Kulda with the 193rd pick.
|Anton Karlsson. |
Kulda attended the draft thinking he would be drafted much sooner.
“You read the news that you’re supposed to go a little bit earlier and it gets in your head,” Kulda said. “But they were playing pretty good music in the arena so I was just chilling, listening to it.”
Kulda a native of Riga, Latvia, notched 30 goals and 30 assists in 66 games with Edmonton (WHL) last season.
Bernhardt, who is known for finding gems in the later rounds, was pleased with the second day of the draft.
“Our goal is to get two, (or) three, (or) four players out of this draft (into the NHL), and if we can do that then we’re very happy,” Bernhardt said.
Fans are invited to watch the fresh draft picks and other prospects at the annual prospect development camp from July 8-10 at the Ice Den in Scottsdale. All on-ice sessions will be from 2:15 to 3:45 p.m. daily and are free and open to the public.