After selecting forward Dylan Guenther from the Edmonton Oil Kings in the first round of the 2021 NHL Draft on Friday evening, the Arizona Coyotes added eight more players during Day 2 of the draft throughout Saturday morning and afternoon, including a player whose name should be immediately recognizable to hockey fans:
Josh Doan, RW, Chicago Steel (USA – USHL) – No. 37 overall
With their first pick of Day 2, the Coyotes took Chicago Steel forward Josh Doan, the son of franchise legend and long-time captain Shane Doan. We floated the possibility of Arizona selecting Doan at the end of our Day 1 recap/Day 2 preview piece, but the selection became reality at around 8:30 A.M. Arizona time Saturday morning:
Doan is fresh off of his second year with the USHL’s Chicago Steel, collecting 31 goals and 39 assists in 53 games played in what was a breakout season. He went undrafted last year as an 18-year-old, but his play this year definitely warranted this top-40 selection. This pick is a historic one for the franchise – Josh was born in Arizona to an active Coyotes player, played his youth hockey in the state, and now will lace up the skates for the same franchise 20 years later.
Scouting outlets are high on Doan’s potential. Per The Puck Authority’s Costa Rontzocos, Doan is “a strong 200-foot (player) with a knack for scoring. He possesses numerous abilities, including a strong defensive IQ, quick decision-making and a quality shooting ability.” Doan has success “due to the way he handles the puck. He’s not a dangler like Patrick Kane, nor does he stickhandle a dozen times a second. He’s efficient and calculated when he’s in possession of the puck and slows the game down to his pace. While he has all these tangible skills, he has a great hockey sense. He’s a student of the game, and with that, he gets better as the game goes on.”
Coyotes fans won’t have to wait very long to see Doan in action – he’ll be playing at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe for Arizona State University in 2021-22 as he begins his collegiate hockey career.
Ilya Fedotov, LW, Chaika Nizhny Novgorod (Russia – MHL) – No. 43 overall
The Coyotes used their second pick of Round 2 to select left-winger Ilya Fedotov out of the Russian junior hockey program (MHL). The 6-foot-1, 176-pound forward collected 18 goals and 20 assists this year with Chaika Nizhny Novgorod, and he appeared in two KHL games as well, posting no points with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie rated Fedotov as the 69th-best prospect in the 2021 class, so, on paper, this may seem like a bit of a reach, but remember that 2020-21 was an extremely difficult season when it came to scouting. Some leagues did not play at all, while others played abbreviated campaigns. Those who did play games were all in the same boat when it came to accomodating international travel – very few scouts were able to leave their respective countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s probable that Arizona had this player higher on their draft board than any media outlets did.
Fedotov’s arrival in North America is likely a few years out – he’ll presumably play in the KHL until that day arrives.
Janis Jérôme Moser, D, EHC Biel-Bienne (Switzerland – NL) – No. 60 overall
Outside of Doan, the most intriguing prospect selected by Arizona on Day 2 of the draft might be Swiss defender Janis Jérôme Moser. At age 21, he’s an overage player, but had an outstanding 2020-21 season in the National League in his home country, posting 30 points in 48 games while serving as captain for a team filled with seasoned European professionals and five former NHLers, including former Coyote Marc-Antoine Pouliot.
Moser has also frequently represented his country, both at the junior and senior levels, accumulating 28 games played across five separate international events. Most recently, Moser collected two assists and a plus-5 rating at the 2021 IIHF World Championship, helping Switzerland to a sixth-place finish at the tournament.
He’ll be a player to keep an eye on in 2021-22 – if he continues to develop his game, don’t be surprised to see him get a look in the American Hockey League sooner rather than later.
Emil Martinsen Lilleberg, D, Sparta Sarpsborg (Norway – Eliteserien) – No. 107 overall
After not having a selection in Round 3, the ‘Yotes used the No. 107 pick to select Norwegian defenseman Emil Martinsen Lilleberg in the fourth round. The 6-foot-2, 207-pound prospect spent the 2020-21 season with the Sparta Sarpsborg Warriors of the Norwegian Eliteserien, the country’s highest professional league.
Last season was Lilleberg’s third in the Eliteserien – he’s played 94 career games with Sparta Sarpsborg, collecting 3 goals and 15 assists during that time. He’ll play for IK Oskarshamn of the Swedish Hockey League in 2021-22 and is likely a few years away from making the move to North America.
Rasmus Korhonen, G, Ässät (Finland – U20 SM-sarja) – No. 122 overall
With their other fourth-round choice, Arizona selected goaltender Rasmus Korhonen. Blessed with his 6-foot-5 height, Korhonen is the prototypical modern goaltender – he’s big, and, at only age 18, he’ll grow into his body as the years progress. In 2020-21, Korhonen spent the majority of his time with the Ässät U20 team, playing in 17 games with a 2.18 goals against average and a .908 save percentage. He also saw action in two games in the Liiga, posting a .800 SV% and 5.62 GAA in Finland’s top professional circuit.
With Ivan Prosvetov already entrenched as the AHL starter in the Coyotes organization, there will be no rush in bringing Korhonen over to the United States. He’ll spend at least one more year in Europe.
Manix Landry, C, Gatineau Olympiques (Canada – QMJHL) – No. 139 overall
A Salt Lake City, UT product, Manix Landry was the Coyotes’ selection at No. 139 overall in Round 5. A 5-foot-11 center weighing in at 178 pounds, the 18-year-old was rated as a top-100 prospect in all three of THW’s draft rankings – Andrew Forbes had Landry at No. 91 in his class, Matthew Zator had him 92nd, and Peter Baracchini had him 98th.
On the ice, Landry had success during a shortened 2020-21 QMJHL season, posting 10 goals and 13 assists in 29 games as captain of the Gatineau Olympiques, which was good enough for third on his team in scoring.
Had a full season been played, it’s likely the Coyotes wouldn’t have been able to draft this player where they did. THW’s Zator predicted Landry would be a third-rounder, and Landry’s position in numerous pre-draft rankings suggested that’d be the case as well. At any rate, keep an eye on Manix as he begins Year 4 in Gatineau in 2021-22.
Cal Thomas, D, Maple Grove High School (USA – USHS) – No. 171 overall
At No. 171 overall, the ‘Yotes spent their sixth-round choice on defenseman Cal Thomas from Maple Grove High School, which is just outside of Minneapolis, MN. The 6-foot, 185-pound blueliner had 5 goals and 21 assists in 23 games for Maple Grove while also seeing action with the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL, collecting a goal and an assist in nine games played.
The 18-year-old clearly has offensive potential, but he’ll need to produce above the high-school level in order to make a name for himself in Arizona’s prospect pipeline. Thomas will likely spend next season in the USHL before beginning his college hockey career at the University of Vermont in 2022-23.
Sam Lipkin, LW, Chicago Steel (USA – USHL) – No. 223 overall
With the penultimate selection in the entire draft, the Coyotes picked left-winger Sam Lipkin from the USHL’s Chicago Steel, the same team Josh Doan played for in 2020-21. This pick didn’t originally belong to Arizona – they traded the 2022 seventh-round choice they received in the Shayne Gostisbehere trade to the Montreal Canadiens to get back in the action on Saturday.
Lipkin, an 18-year-old who stands at 6-foot-2 and weighs in at 192 pounds, collected 3 goals and 8 assists in 30 games with Chicago. He also played for the New Jersey Rockets of the National Collegiate Development Conference, posting 12 goals and 13 assists in 19 games played there. The Lafayette Hill, PA native will return to the USHL in 2021-22 before moving on to Quinnipiac University in 2022-23.
Next up on the calendar in what already has been a busy month of July is the start of the annual ‘Free Agent Frenzy‘ on Wednesday at 9:00 A.M. Arizona time. While it’s unlikely that the Coyotes will be in the running for any of the league’s premier free agents, they should still be looking to add depth pieces. In particular, watch for the club to add a defenseman or two plus a backup goaltender as the team begins to build the roster for the 2021-22 season.
A lifelong Phoenix resident, Louis has been following hockey since 2010, has covered the Arizona Coyotes since 2015, and has been playing hockey since 2020. So far, Louis has visited eight NHL cities, and one of his personal goals is to eventually make it to all 31 NHL arenas. For any questions or concerns, contact the writer via Twitter @LouisPannone.