The night before the draft always sees rumors and speculation run rampant, but it is a report around the Arizona Coyotes third round pick that is causing the biggest stir in the hockey world right now.
— theScore NHL (@theScoreNHL) June 9, 2015
Coyotes GM Don Maloney confirmed last week that the team is willing to part with their first round pick in Friday’s NHL Draft. He has confirmed today that the team has up to four or five legitimate offers for the third overall selection and a few others that with some work they may consider. Most recent reports have said the Coyotes were considering a trade proposal that included two first round picks as well as a player for their third overall pick.
Coyotes GM Don Maloney said one team offered him a pair of mid-first round picks and a player Wednesday evening for the No. 3 pick.
— Craig Morgan (@CraigSMorgan) June 25, 2015
Indeed the Jets are one of the few teams with two first round draft picks that they could send. Edmonton, Buffalo, Toronto and Arizona are the only other teams with two first round selection. Narrowing that down, neither Edmonton or Buffalo will trade their two picks as they own the first and second choices. Arizona is not the rumoured team for obvious reasons, which leave Toronto and Winnipeg as likely trading partners if the Coyotes decide to make a move.
Strome is the younger brother of New York Islanders forward Ryan Strome. This season was Strome’s second playing for the Erie Otters of the Ontaro Hockey League. He amassed 129 points (45 goals and 84 assists) in 68 games this season, adding 20 points in 22 playoff games.
Strome has become the consensus number three pick in this years draft behind the big two and is a guy the Winnipeg Jets would love to have. Though they have a stocked shelf full of prospects, they are still short the real game breaking kind of player. Nik Ehlers, the Jets first rounder last year hopes to become that for Winnipeg, but adding Strome would be a huge asset and secondary option.
With the 17th and 25th pick, the Winnipeg Jets can offer two very good possible prospects. They also have many players who could fill in the last part of that rumored trade. With many forwards coming up as UFA’s in the next week, the Jets could deal one of those player’s rights to the Coyotes. Another option that has been discussed is Alexander Burmistrov. Burmistrov spent time in Winnipeg when they came from Atlanta but had differing opinions with then head coach Claude Noel and has played in the KHL the last couple seasons. Burmistrov has indicated a interest in returning to North America and the NHL but as of now has not been able to come to an agreement with the Winnipeg Jets.
Anything can happen in the hours leading up to the draft, and we may be waiting until seconds before the Arizona selection before we know the result. However, there are reasons to believe that a deal may happen, and there is no doubt that Maloney is listening to offers. If there is a chance for Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff to make this deal, he should absolutely do all in his power to get this pick from the Coyotes.
Born and raised Winnipeg sports fan and contributor with The Hockey Writers.