GLENDALE -- The 2014 NHL Entry Draft is less than a week away and the Coyotes are eager to get started.
"It’s the Super Bowl for our scouts," Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney said. "It’s really the foundation of your whole franchise. If you do a good job at the draft table you acquire assets that can be used not only for yourself but also assets maybe you can use in other deals… The draft weekend is as important as they come."
This year’s draft will take place June 27-28 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Coyotes have eight picks, including No. 12 overall and three of the first 58 (Nos. 12, 43, 58).
Regarding that 12th overall pick, Maloney said the Coyotes “are in a great spot (and) we can be very flexible.”
"We like the top end of the first round," Maloney said. "If we could get ourselves up into the top four or five picks we’d certainly look to do it. I don’t know how realistic that is for us. I think we’re more inclined to move down from our pick at No. 12 depending on how it flows… These decisions all come down to the draft table and what the flow is like and what the phone calls are like."
The Florida Panthers own the Draft’s top pick. The Buffalo Sabres have the No. 2 pick, followed by the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and New York Islanders.
Maloney said he’s already been checking in with other general managers before even heading to Philadelphia.
"It’s important to do your homework and kind of reach out to everybody and let everybody know 'Listen, we’re very flexible where we’re at,'" he said.
Tim Bernhardt, recently promoted to Director of Amateur Scouting, will lead the Coyotes at the draft for the first time. Like Maloney, Bernhardt likes where the Coyotes are slated to pick in the first round.
"There are players that we're looking at (with the No. 12 pick) and we're confident in those players," Bernhardt said. "We'll be happy to get any of them, and maybe if they're all there then maybe you move back. We have a good group of players in behind them that we're confident with."
The first round of the draft will be Friday, June 27. It will be televised by NBC Sports Network starting at 4 p.m. (AZ time).
The second through seventh rounds of the draft will be Saturday, June 28. Those rounds will be televised by NHL Network starting at 7 a.m. (AZ time).
The Coyotes will be staging a Draft Party/Open House at Jobing.com Arena, which will start at 4 p.m. Fans attending the draft party will be able to purchase Arizona Coyotes merchandise for the first time as the team name change becomes official that night.