Arizona Coyotes invest in their defense drafting Dmitriy Simashev
The Coyotes drafted the 6’4″ left handed defenseman from Russia with the sixth overall pick at the 2023 NHL Draft. While taking Simashev with the sixth overall pick might be a little rich, the Coyotes recognized a need in their organization and addressed it no matter who was still available at the time.
The Coyotes now have someone who can be a top pairing defenseman in their organization for years to come. That was a spot they were lacking in entering the draft, but there is still some risk involved here.
The Coyotes will have to focus on getting Simashev signed in the next few seasons. He is on a KHL contract and could very well not join the team for five years or even at all. That is the risk that comes with drafting Russian players, and is why Matvei Michkov fell all the way to seventh overall.
The Coyotes knew the risk when they made their selection. They must be comfortable waiting for Simashev to make the jump to the NHL down the line, with a rebuild in Arizona, there is no rush to get him in the lineup anyway.
With their second first round pick the Coyotes drafted forward Daniil But. But, another young Russian player, is a 6’5″ forward would could make for a great line mate with someone like Conor Geekie down the line.
The Coyotes are rebuilding their team focusing on adding size to their organization. It is interesting watching different teams shape their organizations in different ways. A divisional opponent, the Blackhawks, have focused on adding speed not size in their rebuild, the Coyotes on the other hand have focused more on adding those bigger physical players.
The draft will pick back up in just a few hours, with the Arizona Coyotes holding four picks in the third round that could drastically bolster their prospect pool for years to come.