Coyotes, Flames Make Draft Day Pay
The NHL draft is about the future. But all of the moves a team may make on draft day often says a lot about now. Judging by the moves made by the Calgary Flames and the Arizona Coyotes, those teams look better on both fronts. And in the already tough Pacific Division, hockey betting games just got tougher.
The Flames and the Coyotes have grown increasingly weary of looking up at the San Jose Sharks, the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific standings. So on draft day, both teams did some things to turn the tables in that division.
Flames Get Scoring, Goalkeeping
The Flames had the sixth overall pick in the draft, and grabbed up Matthew Tkachuk as their man. He should add some scoring punch to a team that ranked 24th in the league in that category. Then they went to work on goaltending, where last year they had four different goalies and not much success. They traded their 35th overall pick for St. Louis Blues netminder Brian Elliott, whose playoff performance this spring proved his worth. Then in the second round, they got Tkachuk’s teammate and London Knights goaltender Tyler Parsons.
Coyotes Shore Up Defense
The Coyotes were a bit further down in the draft, but they made the best of their two first-round picks. They had traded a No. 5 pick for the rights to defenseman Alex Goligoski, so they moved on that front by signing Goligoski to a five-year deal. They first passed over defenseman Jakob Chychrun with the 7th pick to get talented center Clayton Keller. Then they made a couple of contract moves to move from 20th to 16th on the board, and that brought them their original draft target, Chychrun.
Of course Calgary and Arizona weren't the only teams to make draft-day headlines. Toronto got No. 1 pick Auston Matthews; Winnipeg grabbed Patrik Laine at No. 2; Pierre-Luc Dubois went to Columbus; and Jesse Puljujarvi landed in Edmonton. All should help the scoring of those teams. But everything has gone well for the Flames and Coyotes so far this offseason. And already they're looking better as value plays in hockey betting games for next year, particularly early in the season.
Now everyone waits to see what Tampa's Steven Stamkos does, before more big deals come down in July.
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