Vancouver Canucks: Pacific Division Draft Grade Ranking

(EDITORS NOTE: caption correction) Jun 24, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Matthew Tkachuk poses for a photo after being selected as the number six overall draft pick by the Calgary Flames in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft at the First Niagra Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
(EDITORS NOTE: caption correction) Jun 24, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Matthew Tkachuk poses for a photo after being selected as the number six overall draft pick by the Calgary Flames in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft at the First Niagra Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jun 24, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Jakob Chychrun puts on a team jersey after being selected as the number sixteen overall draft pick by the Arizona Coyotes in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft at the First Niagra Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 4 Arizona Coyotes

The NHL’s youngest general manager made a splash at his first draft. John Chayka didn’t make a big trade or draft first overall, but he made some interesting picks. With his first two picks, he got two highly-touted prospects who could turn into big-time steals or big-time busts. After that, he went for two Canadian Jr. A defensemen nobody really had on their radar. This could go really well or really wrong.

This is the 2016 Arizona Coyotes draft class:

Rnd Pick Overall Team Player Pos Country Height Weight Amateur League Amateur Team
1 7 7 ARI Clayton Keller C USA 5′ 10″ 164 USHL USA U-18
1 16 16 ARI Jakob Chychrun D USA 6′ 2″ 200 OHL Sarnia
3 7 68 ARI Cam Dineen D USA 5′ 11″ 185 OHL North Bay
6 7 158 ARI Patrick Kudla D CAN 6′ 3″ 175 OJHL Oakville
7 7 188 ARI Dean Stewart D CAN 6′ 1″ 170 MJHL Portage

Clayton Keller was a bit of a reach. Some scouts and scouting services liked him a lot, like Future Generations who had him ranked right were he was picked, but others liked him less, like ISS Hockey who ranked him 12th. Keller might be the player with the highest offensive potential in the entire draft, but as a 5-foot-10, 163-pound center, there is also a size concern and bust potential. Jordan Schroeder, for example, was also a highly-touted US NTDP prospect — though he didn’t quite have the same offensive upside.

Arizona’s second pick was originally 20th overall, but they traded up to 16 and selected defenseman Jakob Chychrun. Originally pegged to go second overall, Chychrun dropped down draft rankings all year, and eventually ended up falling on draft day as well. Despite being ranked in the teens by some scouting services, Chychrun was still picked as high as fourth in many mock drafts. If he can prove those wrong who question his hockey sense, he can become a big-time steal, and the best defenseman of this draft.

Read: Clayton Keller — Draft Profiles — Jakob Chychrun

Defenseman Cam Dineen was ranked lower than 68th by most, but he could be a steal as well. The undersized defenseman had 59 points in 68 games from the blue line in 2015-16, and shows great playmaking ability. Size and defense are Dineen’s only weaknesses. On the one hand, that is unfortunate because the job title is defenseman. On the other hand, the analytics community around John Chayka swears not ever D-man needs to know how to play defense — we’ll find out who’s right.

With their final two picks, the Coyotes selected two more defensemen, Patrick Kudla and Dean Stewart. While Stewart is a solid defenseman who was ranked as high as 137th by HockeyProspect.com, Kudla is a 20-year-old still playing Jr. A, and nobody really knows why he should be drafted.

Grade: B+

Next: No. T-2