The Arizona Coyotes acquired the 11th-overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft from the Philadelphia Flyers, sending the 14th and 45th selections in return. The Coyotes used the pick to draft Swedish defender Victor Söderström.
With the Flyers on the clock at the 11th spot, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced that there was a trade involving the draft selection. The trade marked the first move of the day, despite numerous rumours around the league.
Arizona gets a solid two-way defender in their pick. Söderström is already playing hockey in the top-level Swedish league, the SHL, and has the tools to become a top-two defender once he gets to the NHL. His four goals and seven assists in 44 games led the league in points by an under-18 player.
The Flyers, on the other hand, used their newly acquired 14th pick to draft USNDT defenseman, Cam York. In 63 games last season, York scored 14 goals and 65 points while also adding a jaw-dropping 11 points (four goals) in just seven WJC games. They also collect the 45th-overall pick, giving themselves a second rounder after trading their own away in the Justin Braun deal with the San Jose Sharks.
The Coyotes moving up to draft Söderström may earn some early questions around the league and with their own fans. With scorers like Matthew Boldy and Cole Caufield sliding from higher projections, the selection is one of many sleeper picks early in the draft.
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt: Söderström
“Söderström is one of the best defenseman available in this draft class. He’s a two-way defender that excels at moving the puck up the ice. Many scouts say that he won’t be a game-breaker, but he should be a dependable defenseman in all scenarios which is a great asset to have. He’s also a right-handed shot, which is held in high regard in the NHL with so few available.
No matter where he’s taken in the draft, Söderström looks to be a very safe pick that will immediately strengthen any team’s prospect pool. He creates offence, he’s hard to beat one-on-one and he loves to throw his body around. Any fanbase should be happy with Söderström if their team gets him.”
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt: York
“Cam York is so good offensively that it’s easy to forget sometimes that he’s actually a defender.
One of the more electric players coming out of the 2019 NHL Draft Class, York is the best pure offensive defenseman available in the draft. Outside of being slightly undersized at only 5 foot 11 and 175 pounds, York has everything teams covet in offensive defenseman with quick and smooth skating, an elite shot and tremendous passes that almost always find their mark.
Whether it’s his slap shot, wrist shot or a pass attempt, York is more than capable of moving the puck where he wants it to go with decisiveness and emphasis.
That ability lends itself to York’s power play potential as he’s also primed to be the quarterback of an NHL squad’s power-play unit one day given his skillset.”