Coyotes Go Defense With First Pick, Offense In Round Two

The Phoenix Coyotes opted to select a defenseman, Connor Murphy, over a center, and Murphy is widely viewed as a long-term prospect.

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Coyotes Choose Another American In Second Round

The Phoenix Coyotes chose Chicago-born center Alexander Ruutu with their second pick of the NHL Entry Draft Saturday, the first of the second round and 51st overall.

Doubtless the club had a good scouting report on Ruutu, who is has Finnish roots. His father, Christian, is a Coyotes scout. Christian Ruutu played nine seasons in the NHL and was drafted in 1983.

The younger Ruutu, 18, scored 18 goals with 13 assists in 41 games for the Finland junior club Jokerit Jr. last season.

Phoenix selected left wing Lucas Lessio with its second second-round pick, the 56th pick overall.

Lessio, 18, shoots from his left side and is 6-1, 197 pounds. He finished second in scoring among rookies for the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario (Can,) Hockey League with 54 points in 66 games.

Lessio is from Maple, Ontario and grew up a Maple Leafs fan, according to his NHL.com profile.

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2011 NHL Draft: TV Schedule, Draft Order, Viewing Party, And More

The 2011 NHL Draft kicks off on Friday, June 24 at the the XCEL Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota and will be televised on VERSUS at 4:00 p.m. Arizona time (7:00 p.m. ET). The Phoenix Coyotes hold the 20th overall pick along with two picks in the second road. They have eight total picks in the seven-round draft. 

At last year's draft in Los Angeles, Phoenix selected defenseman Brandon Gormley with the 13th overall pick and goaltender Mark Visentin with the 27th overall pick in the first round. 

Here's a full list of the Phoenix Coyotes draft order in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft:

Round 1 - 20th overall
Round 2 - 51st overall
Round 2 - 56th overall* (from Philadelphia Flyers)
Round 3 - No picks**^
Round 4 - 111th overall
Round 5 - 141st overall
Round 6 - 155th overall# (from New York Islanders)
Round 7 - 196th overall
Round 7 - 201st overall## (from New York Rangers)

In addition, if the Philadelphia Flyers come to terms with traded goalie Ilya Bryzgalov before Friday, the Coyotes get their third round pick.

Here's the full scoop on the fan viewing party being held by the Coyotes:

The Phoenix Coyotes will host a Bud Light NHL Entry Draft Viewing Party this Friday, June 24 from 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at 18 Degrees Neighborhood Grill, located at the Ice Den in Scottsdale (9375 E. Bell Road - just east of Pima on Bell Road). Admission to the event is free. The first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft will be televised live on VERSUS at 4:00 p.m.

The event will be hosted by Coyotes' announcers Bob Heethuis and XTRA 910's Luke Lapinski while Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris will also be available to sign autographs and talk to fans. In addition, Coyotes' mascot Howler will be on hand to greet and entertain fans and a Coyotes raffle will run throughout the event, providing fans the chance to win autographed Coyotes merchandise and prizes.

Following the Coyotes Bud Light NHL Draft Viewing Party, fans in attendance will also have an opportunity to take part in the Ice Den's free open skate from 7:20 p.m. to 9:20 p.m. A special skate rental price of $5.00 will be available to all fans attending the party.

During the Draft Party, 18 Degrees will be offering a drink special of $2.00 Bud Light pints and $2.00 Bud bottles, and food specials that include half off all appetizers as well as 16-inch pizzas with one topping and two dozen wings for $21.99. For more information, please visit www.PhoenixCoyotes.com.

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