The Phoenix Coyotes, the NHL parent of the Portland Pirates, succeeded in addressing some long-term concerns when they selected centers with their first three picks in Sunday’s NHL draft.
“If you don’t draft centers, you don’t get them because nobody’s giving them up,” said Brad Treliving, vice president of hockey operations and assistant general manager of the Coyotes. “We really wanted to address our reserve list and our depth, replenish the cupboard, if you will, in that position.”
Three other players were selected by Phoenix, entering its third year of affiliation with the Pirates.
“Our philosophy is building through the middle of the ice,” Treliving said. “Obviously, we started with the goaltending, and we feel we’re well stockpiled there. We spent the last few years trying to rebuild and stockpile our defense.”
The Coyotes selected Max Domi with the 12th pick of the first round. Last winter, he recorded a team-leading 39 goals and 48 assists with a plus-33 rating in 64 games with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.
In the second round, Phoenix selected center Laurent Dauphin of the Chicoutomi Sagueneens of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League after acquiring the 39th selection from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for the 42nd and 73rd picks. Dauphin had 25 goals and 32 assists in 62 games.
The Coyotes selected center Yan Pavel Laplante of the QMJHL’s Prince Edward Island Rocket in the third round. He had five goals and eight assists in 18 regular-season games and led the team with three goals in six playoff games.
In the fifth round, Phoenix selected defenseman Connor Clifton, a native of Matawan, N.J., who had eight goals and 15 assists while playing 66 games for the U.S. National U-18 team.
In the sixth round, the Coyotes selected Brendan Burke, who posted a 24-5-1 record with a .908 save percentage and a 2.65 goals-against average with the Portland Winter Hawks of the Western Hockey League.
With its final pick, Phoenix selected forward Jedd Soleway, who had 24 goals and 33 assists in 63 games for the Penticton Vees and the Vernon Vipers in the Junior A British Columbia Hockey League. Soleway is committed to attend the University of Wisconsin in the fall.
Domi and Burke are sons of former NHL players.
Tie Domi spent 12 of his 16 seasons in the NHL as an enforcer with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Sean Burke is an assistant to the general manager and goalie coach for the Coyotes. He played of 19 seasons in the NHL with nine teams.
“You go in and do all the research, and every piece of information helps,” Treliving said. “The fact that there are bloodlines, that’s great, but you draft a player regardless of who his parents are.
“A lot of these kids were around the dressing rooms growing up,” Treliving said. “Their fathers have taught them a lot what it’s like to be a pro in terms of the training and all the things you have to do.”
The Coyotes will hold their prospect development camp July 9-11 at the Ice Den in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: