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Coyotes Add Eight Players to Mix on Draft's Second Day

Arizona gained three extra picks on Saturday by making two trades

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

Bernhardt Recaps Draft - Day 2

Bernhardt Recaps Busy Day 2 at Draft

Director of Amateur Scouting Tim Bernhardt recaps a busy Day 2 for the Coyotes at the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago

  • 03:02 •

CHICAGO - Nine young hockey players are hustling to Arizona to take part in the Coyotes annual Prospect Development Camp, which begins Monday.

The Coyotes added the prospects to their mix at the 2017 NHL Draft this weekend. After selecting defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph with the 23rd overall pick in the first round on Friday, Arizona chose the other eight players - four forwards and four defensemen - on Saturday during Rounds 2-7.

"There was no plan at all as far as positioning," said Tim Bernhardt, the team's Director of Amateur Scouting. "Last year we might have been looking a little bit more for defensemen, but this year absolutely no plan. You always try to get a balance, but it was like 'this is the player we're most comfortable with at this point in the draft, let's take him,' and that's what we did." 

PHOTO GALLERY: Coyotes at 2017 NHL Draft

Bernhardt said the Coyotes were pleased with their catch at this year's draft. They added players with good size, mobility, and hockey sense.

Arizona arrived at United Center on Saturday morning slated to make just five draft picks but ended up leaving the building with eight. General Manager John Chayka made two trades to get more selections. The first deal sent the No. 35 pick to the Philadelphia Flyers for picks Nos. 44, 75 and 108. Later, early in the third round, the Coyotes dealt pick No. 78 to the Edmonton Oilers for picks Nos. 82 and 126.

"We were able to make some deals to get some extra picks and we're happy about that," Bernhardt said. "The more picks you have, the more chance you have to get players."

With its first selection of Day 2, Arizona grabbed Swedish defenseman Filip Westerlund  at No. 44.

"He's a really smooth, poised, 6-foot defenseman, which is kind of today's style of defenseman," Bernhardt said. "We don't see him as a huge point producer, but he's a real good puck mover. He' so calm and smooth on the back end … and he's a right-handed shot, so that was a bonus."

Westerlund first played center but switched to defenseman around age 12 because it was more fun, he said.

"I love it," Westerlund said of hockey. "That's what I live for … It's really amazing (to be drafted) … It's a good organization. I'm really looking forward to get there and to be a part of it."

VIEW:Westerlund's Draft Bio

With pick No. 69, Arizona chose Canadian forward Mackenzie Entwistle, who notched 18 goals and 21 assists in 114 career games with Hamilton of the Ontario Hockey League. He missed ice time last season because of mononucleosis.

"He's a big forward, and he plays center and wing," Bernhardt said. "Honestly, we don't know which position he'll end up playing. He's a hard-working kid and always gives you an honest effort. We think there's some more offense from what he's shown so far, so we think it will come, but he could end up being a middle-six forward."

Some experts say getting Entwistle, a self-described "energy player," with the 69th pick was a "steal."

"I never thought I'd be here," Entwistle said. "Obviously, it was nerve-wracking and it was hard sitting up there waiting for your name to be called. But for it to be called by the Arizona Coyotes, it's such a good organization. I'm excited to get started, and I couldn't be happier. I don't even know how to explain it. It's awesome."

VIEW: Entwistle's Draft Bio

Shortly after choosing Entwistle, Arizona drafted Nate Schnarr with pick No. 75.

"He's another big forward," Bernhardt said. "He had a really good first half (of the season) with Guelph (OHL), and he got injured and maybe came back a little bit early. We think in the second half he was a little but hampered by the injury, but we expect him to bounce back next year and we'll see what kind of upside (he has). But worst-case scenario is he's a real big, strong, third-line guy with lots of room to develop."

Schnarr has notched 19 goals and 21 assists in 60 career games with Guelph.

"It's almost surreal," Schnarr said of being drafted. "You can't really put words to it. You wake up yesterday, dreaming of this moment, and you think about it ever since you were a little kid, waiting to put on an NHL jersey. I couldn't be happier that I'm going to Arizona."

VIEW: Schnarr's Draft Bio

Seven picks after taking Schnarr, Arizona shifted back into defense mode by drafting Cameron Crotty with pick No. 82.

"He's a right-shot defenseman, which is hard to come by," Bernhardt said. "He skates really well for a big guy and he's an intelligent kid off the ice and on the ice. He's got a good hockey IQ. We don't project him to be an offensive defenseman, more of a two-way guy who uses great mobility and makes an excellent first pass … He's got a lot of room to develop. He's just scratching the surface."

Crotty is headed to Boston University.

"It's been a journey," Crotty said. "I'm more of a late bloomer so obviously I've had to lean on a lot of the people around me. I've got a great support staff … I've come a long way. Looking back two years ago, I shouldn't be here, right? But I'm here and it's crazy."

VIEW: Crotty's Draft Bio

With its next pick, Arizona selected defenseman Noel Hoefenmayer at No. 108.

"His skating needs some work, but he's very good with the puck," Bernhardt said. "There's some offense with him. He loves to get involved in the play and is very proactive from the back end and jumps into the play and recognizes when to. We think that with some skating development he was a real good value in the fourth round."

Hoefenmayer played for Ottawa (OHL) and led his team's defensemen with 40 points (14 goals, 26 assists) in 62 games. He said his strengths are moving the puck up the ice and his shot. 

"It's unbelievable," Hoefenmayer said of being drafted. "It's the best day of my life. Just to be able to spend this day with my family and my friends is awesome … It's not easy being a hockey player. It's a full-time job. I've been working my whole life for this."

VIEW: Hoefenmayer's Draft Bio

The Coyotes drafted their fourth and final defenseman on Saturday when they selected Michael Karow with the 126th pick. Karow, who grew up in Green Bay, is headed to Boston College.

"He's a big defenseman and another mobile kid," Bernhardt said. "I personally have not seen him (play), but our scouts from the U.S. really liked him and felt that in the fifth round he'd be a great value."

Karow switched from forward to defenseman in the eighth grade.

"I was plateauing at forward, and I just kept getting bigger and bigger and defense made more sense for my body type and just the way I was playing the game," Karow said.

VIEW: Karow's Draft Bio 

Two picks after taking Karow, Arizona selected Tyler Steenbergen, a 5-foot-10, high-scoring forward from Swift Current of the Western Hockey League. 

"He had a great season," Bernhardt said of the 19-year-old, who notched 51 goals in 72 games. "He scored a boatload of goals this year and he's got a really good first step. If you're going to be smaller, you've got to be quick and he's really quick."

VIEW: Steenbergen's Draft Bio

Steenbergen did not attend the draft. Nor did Swedish forward Erik Walli Walterhom, whom Arizona drafted with its final pick, No. 190.

"He's a project," Bernhardt said. "He's a really skinny kid at this stage, but he's got a frame to fill out. He's good-sized, he just needs to fill out. He's a winger with some talent."

VIEW: Walli Walterholm's Draft Bio

Hockey fans can see the new prospects in action all this week during the development camp, which is being staged at AZ Ice Peoria. On-ice sessions, which are open to the public at no charge, are set for Monday (2-4:15 p.m.), Tuesday (9 a.m.-12 p.m.) and Thursday (9 a.m.-12 p.m.). The prospects will play an intra-squad game on Friday at 6 p.m., which is also open to the public and free. 

Video: Bernhardt Discusses Draft Picks

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