Coyotes address forward needs on Day 2

Arizona used its first five selections and seven of nine overall to select forwards.

The Coyotes picked center Ryan MacInnis in the second round Saturday.

Bruce Bennett

The Coyotes' focus in this year's daft was plain to see: Forwards! Forwards! Forwards! 

When the final tally was in Saturday evening, Arizona had selected seven forwards (two centers, four left wings and a right wing) along with two defensemen.

"It wasn't by design per se," General Manager Don Maloney said. "But I'm really happy certainly that with our earlier picks we were able to get a couple more center icemen and then add some intriguing prospects."

None of the picks is expected to make a push for a roster spot next season, but they will be on display for the public when the Coyotes hold their prospect development camp July 8-10 at the Ice Den in Scottsdale.

When that takes place, another trend will be clear to the fan base. The Coyotes added size and speed this weekend. Eight of the nine players selected are 6-feet tall or bigger; five of them had scouting reports that noted their strong skating ability.

"We all saw the Western Conference playoffs with Anaheim and San Jose and certainly the Stanley Cup champions (Los Angeles)," Maloney said. "If we want to get to that level, those are areas we need to look at."

The team's first two picks of on Day 2 were 6-foot-3 center Ryan MacInnis and Max Domi's London Knights' teammate, Christian Dvorak, who is listed as a left wing, but whom the team views as a playmaking center.

MacInnis is the son of Hall of Fame defenseman Al MacInnis who won a Stanley Cup with Calgary in his 23-season career. His size could be a big advantage given his top notch passing skills. Dvorak suffered a torn ACL in mid-December and missed half the season, but will be fully healthy when he returns to juniors next season. Maloney compared him to the New York Rangers' Derek Stepan, calling him a "cerebral player."

Adding centers was important for the organization, but perhaps the two most intriguing picks came in the third round (right wing Anton Karlsson) and the seventh round (left wing Edgars Kulda).

Karlsson was the youngest player on Sweden's silver medal winning team at the 2014 World Junior Championship and he earned that right by playing a physical, in-your-face style that surprised Maloney when he watched the tournament.

"I like to be a little bit of a pain in the ass for the other team," Karlsson said. "I like crashing the net. I like to bang bodies and I want be a leader."

Kulda was the MVP of the Memorial Cup for the Edmonton Oil Kings -- an honor some thought might elevate his draft stock.

"At that stage in the seventh round, to find a kid with that skill level, you say, 'Yeah, let's go for it,'" Maloney said.

Not much was accomplished on the trade front on Saturday. Maloney said almost every manager he talked to agreed to table those discussions for a day to focus on the draft.

The Coyotes would like to add a center, though it will more likely be of the third-line variety to play behind Antoine Vermette and Martin Hanzal. They'd also like to add a scoring wing, which could mean bringing back Radim Vrbata if the demand doesn't drive his price too high. And Maloney said he has several candidates for the backup goalie position and expects to fill that spot soon. 

DRAFT CAPSULES

BRENDAN PERLINI
Age:
18
Height/weight: 6-2, 205
Position: LW
Hometown: Guildford, Surrey, England
Round: 1 (12th overall)
Last team: Niagara (OHL)
Stats: He had 34 goals and 71 points in 58 regular season games, but he didn't score in seven playoff games and had just one assist. In the U18 World Junior Championship, he had three goals and four points in seven games.
Scouting report: A terrific skater with good acceleration and quickness, long reach, good puck possession, a good shot and excellent passing skills. If there has been a criticism of Perlini, it has been his ability to play with consistency and desire.
Notable: Wears No. 11 as a tribute to his father, Fred, who played eight games with the Toronto Maple Leafs after being drafted 158th overall in 1980.

RYAN MACINNIS
Age:
18
Height/weight: 6-3, 185
Position: C
Hometown: St. Louis
Round: 2 (43rd overall)
Last team: Kitchener (OHL)
Stats: He had 16 goals and 37 points in 67 games.
Scouting report: Has great size that enables him to fight through checks, but he doesn't play a physical game. His speed lacks burst and needs development, but he has good hockey sense and is an excellent passer. He's an instinctual player who is almost always in the right position.
Notable: MacInnis is the son of NHL Hall of Fame defenseman Al MacInnis (Calgary, St. Louis), though he admits his shot is nowhere near as hard as his father's. MacInnis said adjusting to the OHL's systems from the USHL's open play last season was difficult and he wasn't happy with his play at Kitchener.

CHRISTIAN DVORAK
Age:
18
Height/weight: 6-0, 178
Position: C
Hometown: Palos, Illinois
Round: 2 (58th overall)
Last team: London (OHL)
Stats: He had six goals and 14 points in 33 games.
Scouting report: Dvorak is a terrific skater who can create chances and cover for mistakes with his speed. But he's somewhat unproven so it's hard to gauge his pro potential yet, or where he'd fit on a roster due to that. He needs to add weight and strength to his frame, too.
Notable: Dvorak suffered a torn ACL in mid-December and had surgery in January. He returned in time to play in the Memorial Cup four months later -- two months ahead of schedule. He said the knee is fully recovered. He originally committed to play for the University of Wisconsin, but thought London would be better for his development. He played with Coyotes prospect Max Domi there.

ANTON KARLSSON
Age:
18
Height/weight: 6-1, 192
Position: RW
Hometown: Lerum, Sweden
Round: 3 (187th overall)
Last team: Frolunda (Sweden Jr.)
Stats: He had 12 goals, 22 points, 88 penalty minutes and a plus-3 rating in 28 games for Frolunda's under-20 team. He also helped Sweden win a silver medal at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Scouting report: A strong two-way player who loves to agitate and crash the net. Karlssson has good checking and playmaking abilities, the latter due to his vision, timing and soft hands.
Notable: Karlsson was the youngest player on Sweden's silver medal winning team at the 2014 World Junior Championship. He was ranked 11th among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

MICHAEL BUNTING
Age:
19
Height/weight: 5-11, 174
Position: LW
Hometown: Scarborough, Ontario
Round: 4 (117th)
Last team: Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
Stats: He had 15 goals and 42 points in 48 regular-season games. He also posted five goals and six points in nine postseason games.
Scouting report: Bunting is an intense player who forces turnovers in the neutral zone and on the forecheck. He's not afraid to go to the dirty areas and has a fairly soft touch around the net. His biggest weakness is his skating. He needs to get faster and improve his footwork.
Notable: Bunting suffered an MCL strain in January that kept him out of the lineup for six weeks in his draft year. 

DYSIN MAYO
Age:
18
Height/weight: 6-0, 181
Position: D
Hometown: Victoria, British Columbia
Round: 5 (133rd overall)
Last team: Edmonton (WHL)
Stats: He had seven goals and 35 points with a plus-17 rating in 63 regular-season games. Added 3-12-15 in 21 postseason contests.
Scouting report: Mayo is an efficient, accurate, strong skating puck-mover who plays a patient game in his own zone and has good sense with the puck.
Notable: Mayo's Twitter handle is awesome: @KetchupWithMayo. 

DAVID WESTLUND
Age:
19
Height/weight: 6-2, 198
Position: D
Hometown: Ostersund, Sweden
Round: 6 (163rd overall)
Last team: Brynas (Sweden Jr.)
Stats: He had five goals and 10 assists in 33 games.
Scouting report: The Coyotes' European scout, Robert Neuhauser, is the only one on staff who has seen Westlund, but he views him as a big, smooth skating, puck moving defenseman with a big upside and raw skills.
Notable: Westlund made his Swedish Hockey League debut playing with Brynäs IF during the 2013–14 SHL season.

JARED FIEGL
Age:
18
Height/weight: 6-1, 206
Position: LW
Hometown: Parker, Colorado
Round: 7 (191st overall)
Last team: USA U-18 (USHL)
Stats: He had a goal and five points in 37 games with the USA U-18 team.
Scouting report: He fits the power forward mold but must improve his skating if he is to make the leap to the NHL.
Notable: Fiegl won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship.

EDGARS KULDA
Age:
19
Height/weight: 6-0, 178
Position: LW
Hometown: Riga, Latvia
Round: 7 (193rd overall)
Last team: Edmonton (WHL)
Stats: He had 30 goals, 60 points and a plus-34 rating in 66 regular season games. He finished second on the team in postseason scoring with 10 goals and 22 points in 21 games. His plus-14 postseason rating was tops among all Oil Kings.
Scouting report: He's a strong skater with a good first step, quick acceleration and excellent stick-handling skills. He's a diligent, hard-worker who probably translates as a bottom-6 forward if he can make the leap to the NHL.  
Notable: Edgars was named the MVP of the Memorial Cup after scoring four goals and three assists in five games for the Edmonton Oil Kings, who boast another Coyotes prospect, Henrik Samuelsson. With a late 1994 birthdate he is eligible to go to the AHL next season.

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