GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 25: Andy Miele #21 of the Phoenix Coyotes warms up before the NHL game against the Dallas Stars at Jobing.com Arena on October 25, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
With only 21 days left until preseason's puck drop for the '12-'13 season we continue this offseason's by looking at the player who currently dons the number 21 in the organization. That player is Andy Miele.
Perhaps the most interesting prospect in the Phoenix Coyotes organization at the moment, Miele is a winner of numerous awards as well as a board member for the You Can Play campaign. With an all star resumé you'd think the Miami (Ohio) forward would be sharing ice time with the best in the league, but it wasn't that easy for him. Originally going undrafted in his first year of draft eligibility back in 2010, the buzz he was creating was being overshadowed by his 5'8 frame. Motivated to show everyone up, the undersized forward from Michigan went on to win CCHA's Player of the Year and tournament MVP as well as USA Hockey's College Player of the Year. However, the most notable award the Red Hawk forward received was the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, the annual award given to the top Division 1 college hockey player in the country. In winning the Hobey Baker Award, Miele joined an elite club of players including NHLers such as Ryan Miller, Matt Carle, Chris Drury and former Coyote, Kevin Porter. The hard work he was putting in wasn't only recognized at a college level. Coyotes' GM Don Maloney was taking notice and in April 2011 signed the then 22 year old to a free agent contract.
While in camp, Miele's feisty play and attitude caught the attention of Coyotes' Head Coach Dave Tippett. Although he didn't make the Coyotes roster, he did find himself called up midway through last season. In 7 games Miele failed to lock a point but saw ice time with Coyotes Captain Shane Doan. After being assigned back to the Coyotes' AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates, the diminutive forward returned to point producing form that he showcased in Ohio, scoring 16 goals and notching 38 assists in 69 games.
The future looks bright for the Grosse Pointe, Michigan native who fought for his chance at the majors, and with the departure of a few key players due to free agency, Andy Miele may just get the chance come this season.