Coyotes GM Reveals They Drafted the Next Zdeno Chara

Published September 3, 2023 at 9:43
Giant players don't come around often. Giant players with elite intelligence and skating are generational.

The Arizona Coyotes were lucky enough to draft two giants in the 2023 NHL draft, and one has the upside to be one of if not THE best giant defensemen of all time.

The next Zdeno Chara has come to the league, and it's 6th overall pick Dmitri Simashev.

Simashev Measures in at 6'7


Going into his draft year as a relatively unknown guy, Simashev wowed everybody by climbing up the ranks to be a top-pairing defenseman for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. While his offensive production didn't show on paper, anybody who watched his game could tell he had high-end skills on both ends of the ice.

What separated him from others, however, was his skating. He is one of the most natural skaters many scouts have ever seen, and tying that to his size, he is truly a unicorn.

Now that it is known that he is 6'7 and not 6'4», there is even more reason to be excited:

Bill Armstrong states that, 6th overall pick, Dmitri Simashev is actually 6'7 ,not the 6'4» he's listed at.

Off the Board, or On the Money?

Many believed that the Coyotes went off the board with Simashev, but DobberProspects scout Aaron Itovitch disagreed. He had Simashev ranked exactly sixth overall headed into the draft, and thinks the Coyotes made a fantastic decision.

I said it way back in October - Dmitri Simashev is the best defenseman in this class.

Having a 6'7 player with the opportunity to be as dominant as Simashev is very exciting. Having his current and future teammate in (now) 6'8 Daniil But is also very exciting!

If the Coyotes truly have the next Chara, will they get out from their bubble of continued failure? Best case, they'll have a franchise star when they relocate!