Today's edition of Countdown to Coyotes Preseason looks back at the Phoenix Coyotes' 1st Round selection at the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Krys Kolanos. While his time with Phoenix was brief (109 games over 4 seasons), he did manage to produce 35 points, including one of the most iconic goals a Coyote has ever scored. Read more about Krys after the jump.
Krys Kolanos already had a reputation for clutch performances, having scored the championship winning goal in the NCAA Frozen Four Tournament for Boston College in 2001. The Calgary native had high expectations upon arriving to Phoenix, but was hampered by concussion symptoms due to a brutal hit from behind by Vaclav Varad'a, then of the Buffalo Sabres. Two months after being knocked unconscious on the ice however, Kolanos would get the opportunity most hockey players only dream of: one on one against the greatest goaltender in NHL history.
On March 31st, 2002, The Coyotes played a home game in America West Arena against the Colorado Avalanche, led by the one and only Patrick Roy. Roy was having one of the best seasons in his already storied career, when he was called in the 3rd period for throwing his stick at Kolanos as he was trying to make a play on net. On the ensuing penalty shot, Kolanos beat Roy high glove side, which led to a temper tantrum of epic proportions. Patrick Roy was ejected from the game for his outburst, and Kolanos permanently placed himself in Coyotes lore.
Unfortunately, the hit that Kolanos sustained in his rookie season would come to haunt him throughout his entire career. Kolanos would only play in two games the following season, and split time between the Coyotes and their AHL affiliate, the Springfield Falcons, in 2003-04. Krys made a brief reappearance with the team after the lockout, but would only play in nine games before being sent down to the AHL. Kolanos has been stuck in between the AHL and NHL systems for the Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild, and most recently, his hometown Calgary Flames. At 31, Kolanos is still young enough to make an impact in the NHL, but has thus far been unable to find a permanent home.