The Arizona Coyotes dropped a heartbreaker last night, losing 4-2 to the San Jose Sharks. The team blew a 2-1 lead and as Tyson Nash put it, “win a period, win the game” as the team entered the third period tied 2-2. They could not win a period. The team sleep walked through the 3rd after the Sharks scored 9 seconds into the final period. The loss makes it six straight for the Coyotes as the team hit a landslide and is now in a downward spiral.
Enter the Connor Bedard Sweepstakes talk.
The frustration is mounting and it is visible. Clayton Keller smashing his stick as the final buzzer sound last night, embodied the mood at Mullett Arena. When you are on a losing streak nothing seems to go right.
So what do the Coyotes do? Continue to lose and accept their predicted fate? Finishing last in the NHL and enter the draft lottery with the highest percentage at landing the number one pick and drafting the next generational player in Connor Bedard? Or do the Coyotes continue to play their butts off, win some games, remain competitive, grow as a team, and have less of a chance at winning the draft lottery? With the draft being a lottery system does it matter?
It has never mattered where the Coyotes finish in the standings, they have never had a draft pick higher than the 3rd. Ever.
In 2007 the Coyotes drafted Kyle Turris 3rd overall.
In 2014 the Coyotes drafted Dylan Strome 3rd overall.
In 2022 the Coyotes drafted Logan Cooley 3rd overall.
Year Final Standings Next Year’s First Round Pick Number Player Taken
2013 19/30 12 Brendan Perlini
2014 18/30 3 *Dylan Strome
2015 29/30 7/16 **Clayton Keller/Jakob Chychrun
2016 24/30 23 Pierre-Olivier Joseph
2017 28/30 5 Barrett Hayton
2018 29/31 11 Victor Soderstrom
2019 18/31 18 Traded to New Jersey
2020 22/31 11 No Selection Made
2021 22/31 9 Dylan Guenther
2022 31/21 3/11/29 Logan Cooley/Conor Geekie/Maveric Lamoureau
*Connor McDavid Draft
**Auston Matthews Draft
The 2016 NHL Draft still to this day grinds my gears. The Auston Matthews draft. The Coyotes finished second to last and but missed out on the hometown kid and the chance to turn the franchise around. Matthews would have LOVED to have been drafted here.
I always had this thought; imagine if the team had packaged both of their first round picks, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Strome, and Perlini to Toronto to move up two spots and take Matthews? At the time OEL was elite and Toronto needed defensemen badly (come to think, they still do).
The Coyotes have not had much luck with lottery draft slots, but something this year seems different. The scenarios and timeline line up too cleanly.
Something is in the works.
What is see is the perfect storm. It is no secret that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman loves his Coyotes and wants them to stay in the desert permanently.
The team should get the new Tempe stadium approved by the public and built in the next 2-3 years. Around the same time Auston Matthews’ current contract with Toronto will be expiring. The Coyotes will have tons of cash available to spend to lure Matthews home. What a perfect scenario to prove once and for all that Arizona is a hockey state (majority of the population in the metro area being transplants from colder regions). So now add a McDavid type player in Bedard to this picture and the Coyotes are Stanley Cup favorites overnight, and have a beautiful new home.
Take that naysayers.
Auston Matthews, Clayton Keller, Connor Bedard, Nick Schmaltz, Dylan Guenther, Lawson Crouse… Oh my!
Something special is brewing for sure.
The team closes out their current homestand Thursday night against Ottawa (another winnable game). Here’s to hoping they settle down and get a win.