For your daily dose of random Phoenix Coyotes information as we wait for real hockey to return, we turn our attention to one of my favorite Coyotes prospects who has had quite the adventurous year - Brett MacLean. As many of you remember, MacLean had an awful scare on July 2 after he collapsed during a pick-up hockey game in Owen Sound.
And that wasn't the only notable part of the last fourteen months for the 23-year old former OHL standout when he played on a line with New York Islanders star John Tavares. Last June, MacLean was claimed by the Winnipeg Jets after being placed on waivers by the 'Yotes. The stay with the Jets 2.0 was short-lived, however, as in October the Jets placed MacLean back on waivers and he was re-claimed by the Coyotes and played the remainder of his season with the Portland Pirates.
MacLean had a brief stint with the Coyotes two seasons ago, and made an immediate impression scoring a power play goal in his first career NHL game against the Los Angeles Kings. Despite his sniper abilities, his defensive play and skating have always been a bit of a question at the NHL level and he simply hasn't had a real shot to thrive yet.
I think that MacLean's greatest strength is his shot and willingness to go to dirty areas to score goals. He could be a power play specialist type player and perhaps improve on the 34 power play goals that the Coyotes recorded last year. Yes, you read that right, the Coyotes scored 34 power play goals last year...that's it; I was thinking it would be closer to 39 and it would be a nice fit for this article. Turns out that 39 would be a nice improvement from last year apparently.
Will MacLean be healthy enough to pursue his NHL dreams and be a player that the Phoenix Coyotes can rely upon in the coming year? It's too early to tell. Just under a week ago, he tweeted out that he has started running again and seems in good enough spirits to chirp some of his AHL teammates, so that's a good sign.
It would be a shame for what looked like a possibly promising career to be cut tragically short, but here's hoping that Brett's health continues to improve and he is back on the ice soon.