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June 22, 2018

Barrett Hayton

Dallas, Texas

Q. Were you surprised how high you went?
BARRETT HAYTON: It was something I got a great feel from Arizona through the interview process, so I knew there was a chance. When I heard my name called, it was unbelievable.

Q. What was it in the process?
BARRETT HAYTON: Just really our discussions. We talked a lot about their organization and the steps that they have in place and I feel they have an amazing future ahead.

Q. Anyone in particular are you looking forward to passing the puck?
BARRETT HAYTON: All their guys, they have a tremendous score of guys now. It's special.

Q. Did you have a sense --
BARRETT HAYTON: It's kind of hard to say. There's definitely interest, I felt, but you never really know.

Q. First Canadian taken. Did you think about that at all?
BARRETT HAYTON: I haven't really thought of it much yet but that's a tremendous honor for sure.

Q. So what makes you feel comfortable about this pick?
BARRETT HAYTON: Really, everything about it. The direction in which their organization is going. I can't lie, it was the organization I wanted to go to the most. So it's just amazing.

Q. Is that because you want to live there?
BARRETT HAYTON: No, just really all aspects of it.

Q. Can you elaborate on that a little bit? What was it that intrigued you?
BARRETT HAYTON: Just from the feel I got from the Combine and the interviews, and definitely watching their team. I'm a big hockey fan myself, so just keeping up with the core group they have. It's just a special group.

Q. Have you kept up on the trade they made this week?
BARRETT HAYTON: Yeah, for sure.

Q. Looking at your numbers, seems like you would be a play-making center. Is that fair to say?
BARRETT HAYTON: Yeah, I feel I'm a playing maker and a shooter. I try to weigh my options. I feel that's where my hockey IQ comes into play.

Q. During that World Junior stint, seems like you started racking up points. Did you get more ice time during that time? How did the season go for you start to finish?
BARRETT HAYTON: Yeah, that opportunity I had when those key guys were away at were World Juniors was great. That's the position I want to be, the go-to guy. That's where I strive to be. The experience I had when they were away and the chemistry I had with Morgan was special.

Q. What do you know about the roster?
BARRETT HAYTON: I don't know any of them personally but obviously from watching a ton of hockey myself, I know a fair amount about the way they play.

Q. Any style in particular?
BARRETT HAYTON: Really all aspects.

Q. Who is sharing this experience with you?
BARRETT HAYTON: My entire family here in Dallas. My mom and my dad and my sister are here. So it's a special event for me, for sure, and I'm just very excited to be able to celebrate with them with all they have done for me over the years.

Q. Can you describe the last few days, how it's been? Were you nervous? Excited this morning?
BARRETT HAYTON: Yeah, it's -- coming into Dallas, I actually came in yesterday morning and just kind of seeing the city a bit and I'm just trying to keep preoccupied. Today it's a whirlwind of emotions but hearing my name called, it's unbelievable.

Q. Where do you think you might have gone? Did you think you were going to be a top-five pick?
BARRETT HAYTON: Yeah, that was definitely my goal. You never really know with drafts, and I'm just -- I'm just -- I can't put it to words how happy I am.

Q. Did you feel like the fact that you played center and that you have a pretty complete game at center was valued by the team that you went to?
BARRETT HAYTON: Yeah, I feel my ability to play a complete game; my versatility in all the different situations was -- well, it's a big part of the player I am and I think teams value that.

Q. Centers, with Montréal making a Finnish in center and you going higher than we thought, seems like a tremendous value on guys --
BARRETT HAYTON: Yeah, that's obviously a big thing in today's game. You look at the centers throughout the league. It's a key position.

Q. A few words about --
BARRETT HAYTON: I can't thank the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds organization enough. They are unbelievable, the development path and the group they have there and the players I've had the opportunity to play with. Just thinking of names, Colton white, he was a tremendous mentor for me in my first year, Bobby MacIntyre, Zach Senyshyn, Boris Katchouk, Morgan Frost, really all of these guys, they have helped me in my development path an amazing amount. I just can't thank them enough.

Q. The Arizona Coyotes, an NHL hotbed the last few years in the draft.
BARRETT HAYTON: Yeah, it's something you can't really put into words. Really the only thing I can say is it's a dream come true.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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