The Arizona Coyotes have found their center of the future, selecting Logan Cooley with the third pick in the 2022 NHL draft on Thursday at Bell Centre.
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Found our guy. 👏<br><br>With the third overall pick in the 2022 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NHLDraft?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NHLDraft</a>, we’ve selected Logan Cooley. Welcome to Arizona, Logan! <a href="https://t.co/rz3UdYmAcz">pic.twitter.com/rz3UdYmAcz</a>
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The <a href="https://twitter.com/ArizonaCoyotes?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ArizonaCoyotes</a> have selected Logan Cooley with the third overall pick at the 2022 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NHLDraft?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NHLDraft</a>! <a href="https://t.co/2W2xMU7hn2">pic.twitter.com/2W2xMU7hn2</a>
The selection comes as little surprise as Cooley was widely viewed to be the third-best prospect available in this year's class behind Shane Wright and Juraj Slafkovsky.
The Pittsburgh native has spent the last two seasons with the United States National Team Development Program and is committed to play college hockey at the University of Minnesota.
In 51 games with the USNTDP during the 2021-22 season, Cooley tallied 27 goals and 48 assists. He also represented the United States at the World Junior Tournament, posting one assist in one game before the event was postponed because of a COVID-19 outbreak.
In addition, Cooley played for Team USA at the Under-18 World Championships, tallying three goals and seven assists in six games, helping the Americans capture a silver medal.
The 5'10", 174-pound center is a great skater who has excellent speed and acceleration that helps him elude defenders with ease. He also is a great puck-handler and has patience, poise and vision that make him a great playmaker.
Cooley's smart positioning and high hockey IQ also make him a great defender and give him the capability to play against just about anybody.
The Coyotes struggled to a 25-50-7 record during the 2021-22 season, one of the worst finishes in the league, and Cooley could enter Arizona's lineup immediately.
Barrett Hayton figures to be Arizona's top center during the 2022-23 season, but it's possible Cooley slots into the second line alongside Lawson Crouse and Travis Boyd. He could also see time on the third line.