The more Don Maloney took calls on the No. 3 pick, the more he kept coming back to one thing: He’s needed help at center for years, and there’s no way he couldn’t use the pick to take Dylan Strome.
"We just decided we really, really needed to take Strome," the Arizona Coyotes general manager said after the first round of the NHL draft wrapped up Friday night.
That’s why he removed the No. 3 pick from trade discussions with Boston regarding Dougie Hamilton. Oh, Maloney still tried on Hamilton, offering the Bruins a big package of other assets, but not the No. 3 pick.
Maloney said there was also talk with other teams about moving down just a bit. One of the scenarios involved a three-way trade in which the Columbus Blue Jackets would have move up higher from No. 8 and flipped that pick with Arizona, but at the same time ensuring the Coyotes could still get Strome.
That the Blue Jackets made a serious push in different forms of trying to get the No. 3 pick was all Maloney would say.