While the Arizona Coyotes will likely not be playing for the Stanley Cup this year, hope for the future remains bright in the desert. Prospect Max Domi continues to impress with the London Knights, while current Coyote Oliver Ekman-Larsson is quickly becoming one of the game’s stars. Arizona has seen other notable first-round draft picks rise up through the organization’s ranks. Here is a look at some of these selections and how their NHL careers have fared.
Selected 24th overall in the 1996 Entry Draft
While most hockey fans probably remember Daniel Briere with either the Buffalo Sabres or the Philadelphia Flyers, his career started in Phoenix with the Coyotes. Briere was the second draft choice in Coyotes history after the team selected Dan Focht with the 11th overall pick. From 1998-2003, Briere notched 70 goals and 146 points in 258 games with the Coyotes. Currently a member of the Colorado Avalanche, the 37-year-old Briere is closing in on two career milestones: 700 points (currently at 695) and 1,000 regular season games (957).
Selected 8th overall in the 2006 Entry Draft
In his rookie season, Peter Mueller had a strong impact offensively with the Coyotes. Mueller ranked third on the team with 22 goals and 54 points during the 2007-08 campaign, trailing only Shane Doan and Radim Vrbata in both categories. However, shortly after being traded to the Colorado Avalanche, a pair of concussions put Mueller on the sidelines for 18 months. After stints with the Avalanche and the Florida Panthers, Mueller is now playing in Switzerland with the Kloten Flyers.
Selected 8th overall in the 2008 Entry Draft
Mikkel Boedker is one of six former Arizona first-round picks to play with the Coyotes this season. The Danish forward has put together a handful of highlights during his seven years with Arizona. He scored the game-winning goals in Games 3 and 4 against the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2012 playoffs, and recorded his first career hat trick earlier this season against the Edmonton Oilers. Boedker led the Coyotes in goals at the All-Star break this year with 14, just five goals away from his career high set last year, but has now been shelved with a ruptured spleen.
Charles Woodall-Pike is a journalist who writes about the Arizona Coyotes for The Hockey Writers.