With just a couple weeks remaining before the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, the Phoenix Coyotes have announced that Tim Bernhardt will serve as the team’s director of amateur scouting.
It’s a role he’s very familiar with as he worked in that capacity for the Dallas Stars from 1998 to 2011.
“The thing about the draft is you’re not always going to mine gold in the first round,” Bernhardt said, per the Coyotes’ website. “You’re going to have your misses there … but the key is the body of work and to try to work through seven rounds of the draft because there are players there and you just have to find them. That’s what we did in Dallas and that’s what I’m most proud of.”
The closest Bernhardt ever came to drafting a star in the first round was arguably his selection of defenseman Matt Niskanen with the 28th overall pick in 2005, but he did take a number of great players in later rounds, including Mike Smith (2001, fifth round), Jussi Jokinen (2001, sixth round), Loui Eriksson (2003, second round), James Neal (2005, second round), and Jamie Benn (2007, fifth round).
That’s an area the Coyotes need to improve on. Through the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Phoenix has taken no players after the first round that have gone on to play in at least 30 NHL games. On top of that, Michael Stone is their only second round pick or later through the 2006 draft that’s participated in at least 100 NHL contests.