An Arizona Coyotes trade proposal was revealed Wednesday, the day after the team acquired the third overall selection in the 2022 NHL draft. According to Jeff Marek of 32 Thoughts with NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, he thinks the Coyotes should consider trading their #3 overall pick to the Montreal Canadiens for the Yotes first-rounder in 2023.
Marek stated, “What if the Arizona Coyotes say, ‘We’ll give you our third overall pick and our first pick next year, for your first pick,’ what do you say?”
Friedman’s response was,“Oh my God, you can’t do that at all if you’re the Coyotes! If you’re Montreal, you absolutely do!”
Hold on, Like WHAT?
Consider the fact that the Canadiens know the next generational talent will be none other than Connor Bedard. Bedard showed his elite talent this season with 51 goals, 49 assists in 62 games with Regina Pats of the WHL. Every NHL team will be hankering to draft him. Many experts feel the 2023 draft will be far and above the current draft.
Both the Canadiens and Coyotes are admittedly in need of a first-line center, and Bedard fits the bill for both clubs. So, would general manager Kent Hughes trade away his rights to draft Shane Wright, to be in line to possibly acquire Bedard? He has stated that he is open to trading the pick, but that was before it was revealed that it will be the first overall pick.
The Coyotes Are Still in a Rebuild
Hughes realizes as well as Bill Armstrong, the GM of Arizona that the Coyotes are deep in a rebuild. They may not be any better next season than they were this past season. That would leave Montreal with an exceptional opportunity to again grab the first selection in the draft. That would mean Bedard could be joining the likes of Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki. Not bad company, huh?
On the other side of the coin, if the Coyotes decide to hold onto their third pick, they would still have a great shot at drafting Bedard. So, if they can live without adding Wright, they would certainly not be disappointed with Bedard. You can see why the life of a general manager can be challenging, to say the least.
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At #3, the Coyotes Select…
We will need to wait until July 7th to complete that statement. It is without a doubt that they will draft a good player. If Wright is gone (and most feel he will be), then it will be up to the New Jersey Devils who hop skipped ahead of the Yotes to gain the #2 pick to decide who they want first. Will it be Juraj Slafkovsky, or perhaps center Logan Cooley?
If only the Coyotes had a crystal ball to see if they will be able to land Bedard next season before deciding whom to choose in July. You see, the team just recently signed two center prospects in Nathan Smith and Jack McBain. They will also have Nick Schmaltz and Barrett Hayton at center ice. If they added either Wright or Bedard, that would be five centers. Of course, the book is still out on whether Smith or McBain will be on their NHL roster come October.
Logjam at Center Ice
The Canadiens roster contained 10 centers this past season. Maybe they won’t want to add another? Well, with a talent like Wright, who plays a responsible 200-foot game, it will be difficult to pass on him. Bear in mind, each NHL team has needs to address and their GM’s have a job to do to fill those needs. It would seem when viewing the statistics of this past season, that the Habs needs are firmly in improving their defense. They were dead last in allowing 3.89 goals a game.
Defense Wins Championships
The Canadiens could go to the projected fourth overall pick and take defenseman Simon Nemec from Slovakia. He’s 6′-1″, 192 pounds and collected one goal and 26 points in 39 games with HK Nitra. Don’t forget the Habs have been rumored to be trading Jeff Petry for a while now. Nemec is a right-hand shooting D-man and may be able to step right in to fortify the defense.
This is One Wild Trade Proposal
While it is unlikely to happen, it’s always fun to imagine trades like this actually going down. Both the Coyotes and Canadiens will have a golden opportunity to improve their rosters through the draft. And, we all know that is the best method to accomplish success in the NHL. Just look at where the Colorado Avalanche were in 2016-17. They finished with 48 points and a dismal 22-56-4 record. Since then, they have appeared in the postseason five consecutive years, including this year.
All things considered, both Bill Armstrong and Kent Hughes know exactly what they’re doing.
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