The Arizona Coyotes missed out on one of the coveted top two picks when the Edmonton Oilers won the 2015 draft lottery. That left them with the third overall selection, which is where things start to get interesting as there’s no consensus number three after Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel.
Certainly there’s still plenty of high-end talent available after McDavid and Eichel though and teams have consequently contacted Coyotes GM Don Maloney about acquiring the pick.
“I was approached by three teams, had a call right before now asking me what would it take to get that pick, and I’m like, first born, second born, maybe I could use a helicopter to take me to work,” Maloney joked during the Coyotes’ “State of the Union” press conference. While that obviously sounds like a way to rule out moving the pick, he actually is open to the idea. Rather than move it straight up for a player though, he thinks it’s more likely that the Coyotes will trade down in the draft.
The Coyotes also have five other picks in the first three rounds, including Chicago’s top selection and they’re willing to part with some of them to help address their current holes. Among other things, Arizona is in the market for centers.
“Nobody is going to give us good players without giving up something, and that’s why we are certainly open for business,” Maloney said.
It also helps matters that the Coyotes have more cap space right now than any other team, per General Fanager. If the cap ends up being $71 million, then they will need to spend nearly $19 million just to reach the floor and thus are in a great position to take on contracts from squads struggling to get below the ceiling.
Adding to that is the fact that the Coyotes will be operating with an increased budget for the 2015-16 campaign. Although the specifics of that aren’t clear and some of the money is going into things like scouting and player development rather than player salaries.
All that’s left Maloney optimistic about the future despite the Coyotes’ disastrous season.
“If we can fill in the rest of the holes, I think we can all get back to where we want to be in a hurry.”