You may have never heard of Darryl Plandowski, but a lot of his work just resulted in a Stanley Cup. Serving as the Tampa Bay Lightning assistant director of amateur scouting under legendary scout Al Murray, Plandowski was integral in helping build a roster that had plenty of homegrown talent. He was only named to that position in 2019 but had previously spent over a decade as the team’s head amateur scout.
We are very pleased to add another Stanley Cup Champion to our organization. Darryl is an excellent talent evaluator and his fingerprints are all over the Tampa Bay Lightning roster. We are thrilled to have him lead our amateur scouting department.
Notably, the Coyotes do not have have a pick in the first three years of this year’s draft thanks in part to discipline handed down for scouting violations. If they don’t move to acquire some higher picks, they’ll have to find some hidden gems in the later rounds. If that’s what you’re looking for, it’s hard to not want to emulate an organization like the Lightning. Greg Wyshynski of ESPN reports that Plandowski will not be working at this draft for the Coyotes in an agreement with the Lightning, but you can see how he, Murray, and the rest of the Lightning have found talent outside the first round in the past.
Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov, Alex Killorn, Anthony Cirelli, Ondrej Palat, Cedric Paquette, and many other names being engraved in the Stanley Cup were Tampa Bay picks outside of the first round, with Palat, in particular, being an incredible late-round steal. Yanni Gourde and Tyler Johnson weren’t even drafted at all but have become key contributors for the team.
Obviously, there is more work to be done to right the ship in Arizona, but bringing in proven talent evaluators is an important step.