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NHL Draft

Coyotes GM doubts he'll get to draft Matthews: report

Scottsdale-born prospect expected to go No. 1 to Toronto; Arizona has No. 7 pick

by NHL.com @NHL / NHL.com

Auston Matthews grew up in Scottsdale, Ariz., and attended Arizona Coyotes games growing up. But new Coyotes general manager John Chayka said Matthews likely won't be playing his home games in the desert next season.

"For us he'd be a great player," Chayka said on Sportsnet's "Hockey Central at Noon" on Friday. "Right now we're picking seventh and I don't foresee him being there at No. 7."

Matthews is No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of international skaters for the 2016 NHL Draft, which will be held June 24-25 at First Niagara Center in Buffalo. The Toronto Maple Leafs won the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery and are expected to select Matthews with the first pick.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound center is with the United States at the 2016 IIHF World Championship. He spent the season with Zurich in National League A, Switzerland's top professional league, and had 24 goals and 46 points in 36 games and was second in voting for league MVP.

Chayka, who was named Coyotes GM on Thursday, was asked if he would consider trying to put together a trade with the Maple Leafs for the No. 1 pick.

"I hope all 29 teams make a pitch to move up and pick him," he said.

Chayka said he was thrilled at the type of person Matthews has become and called his potentially being the first player picked, "a huge accomplishment for the [Coyotes] organization."

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