The Coyotes kicked off their draft by selecting Domi. (@phoenixcoyotes, Twitter)
The Phoenix Coyotes were on a mission in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, held Sunday night in New Jersey. And that mission was to get some offense down on the farm, not only helping to fill a need but also to make sure this franchise is set for the future, no matter how cloudy that future is.
Let’s take a closer, in-depth look at some of the guys the Coyotes welcomed to the organization this past weekend…
First Round (No. 12): Max Domi, C/LW, London Knights, OHL
A great pick here at No. 12 for the Coyotes as they get a guy who fits their system perfectly. Domi is a two-way forward with a scoring touch who also isn’t afraid to do the dirty work. The son of former NHLer Tie Domi, the younger Domi has a great skill set offensively and some have compared him to Sidney Crosby, who he trains with. That high praise may just be that, as many have penciled him as more of a Marty St. Louis or Paul Stastny type player, which is nothing to knock in its own right.
This past season with the Knights, Domi put up a line of 39 goals and 48 assists for 87 points. While he has the ability to score, his playmaking is what stands out the most though sometimes it is a bit “daredevil-ish”. Some of that fanciness – the good kind – can be found here.
At 5-9 and just a shade under 200 pounds, Max doesn’t have the same body type as his father, who had more defensive responsibilities in his playing days, but it allows his offensive capabilities to shine. Don’t knock his heart and feistiness however, as he doesn’t back down and continues to work, making him a valuable player to play in any situation.
This is also the third straight draft that the Coyotes have drafted the son of a former NHLer, with the franchise taking Henrik Samuelsson last year and Connor Murphy the year before.
Don’t expect to see young Domi in 2013-14 unless he really puts on a charge and impresses the coaching staff enough. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him with the big club come 2014-15 though.
Second Round (No. 39): Laurent Dauphin, C, Chicoutimi Saguenéens, QMJHL
The Coyotes traded up a few spots to be able to nab Dauphin at this spot, who had a nice year in the QMJHL last season, sporting a line of 25-32-57 in his first year in the league but really came on strong at the under-18 World Championships.
The 17-year-old is still a very small and slender body, at 6-foot, 166 pounds. Being a smaller, skinnier guy, he can get pushed around from time to time and can also be outmanned physically, but if he wants to play consistently in the NHL, he’ll have to pack on some muscle.
Nevertheless, he is a talented weapon with great potential offensively, with scouts taking great note of his stickhandling and vision. His skating could use some work, but he is still very much up there for his age group and that will only progress with time.
It will take a long while before Dauphin finds his way onto an NHL roster. Expect his development to be a nurtured one.
Third Round (No. 62): Yan-Pavel Laplante, C, Charlottetown Islanders/PEI Rocket, QMJHL
Well, look at that. The Coyotes drafted another center. Laplante was a teammate of Dauphin on Canada’s U-18 World Championship team. He has a similar frame to Dauphin, but a much different playing style, meaning he loves to get after it physically and throw whatever weight he has around.
Last season, he suffered a major shoulder injury that held him out of QMJHL action until February but there seemed to be no hesitation in him when he returned to the ice.
This is a guy that, if he keeps plugging along, could find himself in the good graces of the Coyotes coaches because of the way he plays and works. His style fits the system well and he could very well be a future third-liner.
Fifth Round (No. 133): Connor Clifton, D, U-18 US National Team, USHL
Getting back to their roots, the Coyotes took a defenseman that may not even crack an NHL roster. A smaller blue liner at 5-11, 175 lbs., Clifton hasn’t truly played a hockey season in a few years as he’s spent the last few seasons as a member of the under-18 United States scrimmage squad, taking on college and USHL teams.
He played for the U.S. in this year’s U-18 tourney however and is committed to Quinnipiac University next year. He is still very physical for his size, racking up plenty of penalty minutes, but still struggles to help out offensively.
Sixth Round (No. 163): Brendan Burke, G, Portland Winterhawks, WHL
Now, this is a nice sentimental pick as young Burke is the son of current Coyotes goaltending coach Sean Burke. Brendan is a native of Scottsdale and posted a 2.65 GAA and a .908 save percentage in 33 games for the Winterhawks last season.
Nobody is sure what his chances are of making the big time in the future, but it’s always a nice feeling to be able to draft this way and warm some hearts.
Seventh Round (No. 193): Jedd Soleway, C, Vernon Vipers/Penticton Vees, BCHL
The Coyotes spent their final selection in the draft on another center, grabbing Soleway at 193 overall. Soleway split his time last year between two clubs in the BCHL, totaling a line of 19-27-46 and will be attending the University of Wisconsin in the fall. Not as much skill as the other centers, but he works hard and goes to the net.
Brett is a lifelong Glendale, Arizona resident and a 2012 graduate from Northern Arizona University with a degree in journalism. He wrote for NAU’s student newspaper, The Lumberjack, covering every team at one point or another while mainly focusing on football and men’s basketball. You can follow him on Twitter @B_Murdock1320.
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