Report: Coyotes leaning towards trading third overall pick

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It would be shocking if Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel weren’t taken by the Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres respectively, but after that the 2015 NHL Entry Draft is a tough one to predict. The uncertainty starts with the third overall selection, which the Arizona Coyotes appear to be leaning towards trading, according to Bob McKenzie.

We already knew that Coyotes GM Don Maloney was willing to move that pick, but open to making a move and actually being likely to pull the trigger are two entirely different things. Based on McKenzie’s report though, multiple teams are in the mix to pry that selection from Arizona, including Winnipeg and Columbus.

Then there’s the Bruins, which are in a tough spot with restricted free agent Dougie Hamilton due to their cap situation. That’s led to speculation about the possibility of Boston shipping Hamilton to Arizona in exchange for the pick, per TSN’s Darren Dreger. It would set the stage for Boston to draft highly regarded defensive prospect and Massachusetts-native Noah Hanifin.

It’s worth noting that Coyotes GM Don Maloney previously called the possibility of trading the pick outright for a player that can help them next season “remote” as he felt it was more likely that they’d trade down. He certainly didn’t rule it out though and if he were to make that kind of move, then a young, but already tested player like 22-year-old Hamilton would seem like an ideal return.

This should ultimately be a very eventful day and Arizona moving the pick is just one of the high profile trade possibilities.

Related:

Attention agents: Coyotes are at least $18M from cap floor

Sens inquired about Coyotes’ third overall selection