With apologies to player's who have had a cup of coffee or two already in Glendale like Chris Summers, Michael Stone, and Andy Miele, the Phoenix Coyotes' number one prospect is Brandon Gormley. The 20 year old defenseman from Murray River, PEI was assigned to Portland by the team prior to the lockout. However, once the NHL resumes operations expect Gormley to be fighting to join the Coyotes blueline corps. He has all the tools to be a successful top pair blueliner in the NHL. His only obvious weaknesses at the moment are a lack of pro experience and a not quite filled out body frame. Both issues will be taken care of in time.
The blueliner's two way skills have been apparent from an early age. He was the first pick in the 2008 QMJHL draft. Two years later the Coyotes made him the 13th overall pick in the 2010 NHL draft. Just before Phoenix drafted him he was named the winner of the Mike Bossy award which goes to the best pro prospect in the QMJHL. Gormley came back strong last season after suffering a serious knee injury in the 2010-11 junior season which caused him to not only miss a fair amount of his junior season, but also the 2011 World U-20 Championships.
Gormley made a strong run at making the big club last Fall before the Coyotes reassigned him to his junior team late in camp. Unlike the year before Gormley was healthy when the 2012 World U-20 Championships came around. He was the most dominant defenseman in the tournament and was named to the all-tournament team and was named the tourney's best defenseman. Shortly after the tournament he was traded by the Moncton Wildcats, the QMJHL team who had drafted him, to the Shawinigan Cataractes. While Gormley wound up getting injured again not long after the trade. This time it was a foot problem. However, the trade wound up working out extremely well for the Coyotes' prospect in the end. In his second trip to the Memorial Cup Tournament, Canada's junior hockey championship, the young defender wound up on the 2012 Memorial Cup winning squad. He recorded 3 goals and 6 assists in 6 games during the tournament.