The Arizona Coyotes didn't pick until the fourth round of the 2020 NHL Draft.
They traded away their first- and third-round picks in separate deals to get Taylor Hall and Carl Soderberg. They forfeited their second-round pick due to violating NHL Combine testing policy.
So, it was a long wait for the Coyotes to pick.
When it came time, Arizona jumped at UND freshman defenseman Mitchell Miller, whose game has surged in the last year. The Coyotes used their fourth-round pick, No. 111 overall, to choose the 5-foot-9, 189-pound blue liner from Sylvania, Ohio, who was named first-team all-United States Hockey League last season.
Miller, who was watching the draft from a suite in Ralph Engelstad Arena, hugged his father, John, mother, Shelli, sister, McKenzie and younger brother, Josh, who all drove from Ohio to be there.
"It's an exciting moment for me," Miller said. "Growing up, it's something you think about as a little kid. To be able to have my family here as support -- they've been through it all -- it was awesome."
Miller is the first UND player to be taken by the Coyotes since Brett Hextall in 2008.
"I did have a lot of talks with almost every team," Miller said. "It was just kind of up in the air on who was going to pull the trigger."
Miller didn't realize that he was Arizona's first pick until his father mentioned it.
"It was very exciting," UND coach Brad Berry said. "I know he was waiting patiently there with his family. It was great to see. Obviously, it was Arizona's first pick today. It was great to see him go to an organization that's in need of some good, young talent. It's nice to know that Mitchell was their first pick in this year's draft and it speaks loudly about what they think of Mitchell."
Miller was the third UND rookie defenseman to come off the draft board this year.
Freshman Jake Sanderson went in the first round, No. 5 overall, to the Ottawa Senators and freshman Tyler Kleven went in the second round, No. 44, to Ottawa.
UND's other rookie defenseman, Cooper Moore, went in the fifth round, No. 128 overall, to Detroit in last year's draft.
Miller doesn't have the size or background of most defensemen.
He's just 5-foot-9 and he's played forward most of his life. Miller made the move to defense during his U16 season. His game took off in the USHL, where he played with Tri-City last season.
"Very special player," Berry said. "High-end offensive ability. I thought his two years in the USHL, he's grown dramatically from Year 1 to Year 2. He possesses some ability where he sees the ice very well on breakouts but also on the power play with puck movement and the scoring ability side of it. Very good offensive ability with some good defensive instincts as well."
Berry was asked if he was surprised that Miller wasn't drafted by Ottawa, which has the rights to fellow UND defenders Jacob Bernard-Docker, Sanderson and Kleven, as well as Jonny Tychonick, who transferred from UND to Omaha over the summer.
"No, I think they've taken enough defensemen," Berry said with a smile. "It's nice to see him get drafted by Arizona."
UND's 2020 NHL Draft board
No. 5 - Jake Sanderson (OTT)
No. 44 - Tyler Kleven (OTT)
No. 111 - Mitchell Miller (ARI)
No. 113 - Jackson Kunz (VAN)
No. 131 - Matteo Costantini (BUF)
No. 207 - Ethan Bowen (ANA)