GLENDALE – The 2015 NHL Entry Draft is a week away but the Coyotes are eager to drop the puck, if you will.
Owning eight picks, including the third overall, Arizona is poised to make a splash near the beaches of south Florida on June 26 and 27.
"We’re in good shape," said Tim Bernhardt, the team’s Director of Amateur Scouting. "We’re excited about having so many picks and three of the first 32. It gives you something to work with."
Centers Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel are expected to be selected first and second by Edmonton and Buffalo, respectively. After that happens, the Coyotes, barring a trade, will set the real intrigue of the draft into motion picking third.
"We’ve been working all year for this and all the hard work comes to fruition now," Bernhardt said of he and his scouting staff. "We’re prepared for all different scenarios in the first round and throughout the draft. It’s always exciting when you have that many picks because lots of things can happen and you have to be prepared for all of them. I think we are."
The first round of the draft, which is being staged at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla, is on Friday, June 26. The Coyotes are slated to pick third and 30th that night. Rounds 2-7 are on Saturday, June 27.
Bernhardt said while the first day of the draft gets more media attention, the second day is just as critical.
"It’s our job to work through seven rounds of the draft and not just one," Bernhardt said. "You don’t have to look any further than this year's Stanley Cup Final to see impact players like Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw and Nikita Kucherov. Those guys were not first-round draft picks. You build the depth of your organization in the later rounds of the draft and that’s what we’re looking to continue to do next weekend."
Bernhardt and his staff plan to set up camp at the draft on Wednesday.
"The bulk of our work has been done," he said. "Now it’s just a matter of tying up some loose ends once we get there."