For as long as the Coyotes have wandered in the Arizona desert, it’s peculiar that they are still without a true franchise player. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, to be sure, is an elite, young defenceman, a cornerstone for a blue line corps. But that’s different than a franchise player, a difference maker, the kind of player, for instance, that may be available next June when Connor McDavid, Dylan Strome, Jack Eichel, Noah Hanifan, Pavel Zacha, and others become available through the draft. Over the past decade, the Coyotes have had five top 10 picks, the area where impact players might be found. Of the players selected with those picks – Ekman Larsson, Mikkel Boedker, Blake Wheeler, Peter Mueller and Kyle Turris – only Ekman Larsson and Boedker are playing for Arizona, and OEL is the closest to being a true star. Being pretty good as a team hasn’t helped. The Coyotes haven’t drafted higher than 12th overall in the last five drafts, which makes it harder to get those high-end talents. A spotty 4-6-1 start this fall for Arizona, that included wildly different weekend results with a loss to Carolina and a come-from-behind, 6-5 triumph over Washington last night, probably has the Coyotes slated to miss post-season play again.
Time for Coyotes to blow it up?
Sportsnet | Nov 4