Photo Courtesy: NHL.com
The Arizona Coyotes selected center Barrett Hayton with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft on Friday.
In 63 regular season games for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL, Hayton registered 21 goals and 39 assists. In 24 playoff games for the Greyhounds he had eight goals and 13 assists.
Scouting reports praise his hockey IQ and note his well-roundedness as a two-way player. Several reports noted his natural ability as a playmaking center that knows where to find his linemates.
Hayton on where he needs work: “I feel just getting more explosive. Also, w/the way the game’s being played, playing w/higher pace. You see the NHL style now, especially in the playoffs, the pace is so high so it’s just training my mind to just constantly play at that high pace.”
— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) June 23, 2018
With the No. 4 pick, the Ottawa Senators selected Brady Tkachuk, soliciting boos from the fans gathered at Wild Horse Pass who had been hoping Tkachuk would drop to the Coyotes. Tkachuk had a handful of connections to the Yotes, as his father, Keith, played with the Winnipeg Jets/Coyotes for 10 years.
Prior to the Draft, Clayton Keller told the media he was also hoping Tkachuk would land in Arizona. The two grew up together and both played at Boston University. It appears, however, that Hayton was the guy the Coyotes had been going after all along, even if Tkachuk was available at No. 5.
Arizona has six more selections in this year’s Draft, which will be made on Saturday. The Coyotes have the 55th pick in the second round, the 65th, 73rd and 74th in the third round, the 158th in the sixth round and the 189th in the seventh.
The second round will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning on NBC Sports.