Scouts for the Coyotes assembled this week in Glendale to make critical preparations for next month’s NHL Entry Draft in Montréal.
Over the past four days, Director of Amateur Scouting Keith Gretzky and his staff of nine, along with General Manager Don Maloney and Assistant General Manager Brad Treliving, shared notes on many players and shaped their final rankings.
“We are making a list up and we will follow it accordingly,” said Steve Lyons, the team’s Assistant Director of Amateur Scouting. “We are spending a lot of time right now getting the list right. Whatever comes our way, we will be ready for it.”
|The Coyotes selected Mikkel Boedker (center) in the first round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. |
The Coyotes have the sixth overall pick in the draft, with the possibility of adding a second first-round pick via the trade that sent center Olli Jokinen to Calgary. As of today, the Coyotes will make six selections at the draft, which is June 26-27.
To prepare for this draft the scouts traveled all over North America and Europe and evaluated talent since August. Some attended and watched as many as 300 games in an effort to determine the potential of the top 18-year-old players, and how they might fit within the Coyotes organization.
“We’ve focused on the top three rounds,” Lyons said. “You try to see everyone a few times and some guys a lot. That’s pretty much what we do. As the year progresses, you try to see what the team needs are and where you are going and what you are looking for. We narrow it down as the year progresses and eventually we pinpoint a few guys we like and zero in on them.”
The scouts will reconvene one final time in Montréal a few days before the start of the draft.EDITOR'S NOTE:
The top 104 players eligible for selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft are set to arrive at the 2009 NHL Combine, May 25-30 in Toronto. The event gives NHL clubs a chance to evaluate the NHL’s future stars less than a month before the draft. The invitees represent the NHL Central Scouting’s top-rated 75 skaters and eight goaltenders from North American leagues and the projected top 20 skaters and the top goaltender from Europe.