Last night I had the privilege of talking about the Arizona Coyotes with Arctic Ice Hockey's 20416 Podcast. The conversation shifted very quickly to Arizona's prospect pool. More specifically, how good Arizona's prospect pool is. So with that in mind, let's check in on how future Coyotes are faring across the developmental leagues.
This tweet sums up the Coyotes future at forward:
Dylan Strome and Christian Dvorak are absolutely lighting up the Ontario Hockey League this year; Strome has 12 goals and 29 assists in 19 games played, while Dvorak is right behind him with 16 goals and 24 assists in 19 games.
But Arizona's bountiful harvest of point producing prospects doesn't end there; Ryan MacInnis in Kitchener is off to a great start with 17 goals and 14 assists in 22 contests. 2015 second rounder Christian Fischer has 12 goals and 12 assists in 22 games for the Windsor Spitfires, defenseman Kyle Capobianco has two goals and fourteen assists for the Sudbury Wolves, and Brendan Perlini has nine goals and nine assists in 20 games with Niagara.
The bountiful harvest on offense continues in the Quebec Major-Junior Hockey League, where your leader in points per game is yet another Coyotes' pick; Conor Garland has 11 goals and 36 assists in 21 games for Moncton. Additionally, 2013 3rd Round selection Yan-Pavel Laplante has 17 goals and 9 assists in 26 games with Gatineau.
Arizona has far fewer prospects in the Q, but both of their choices are off to excellent starts for their major-junior teams.
The WHL is the only league in the CHL that a Coyotes prospect does not lead in points per game. Still, Arizona is getting some good returns from its prospects out west.
Nick Merkley has nine goals and thirteen assists with the Kelowna Rockets so far this year, while defenseman Dysin Mayo is having a bit of a down year (by his standards) for the Edmonton Oil Kings, with a goal and thirteen assists in twenty-five games.
Meanwhile, Arizona's only North American goaltending prospect - Adin Hill of the Portland Winterhawks - is 10-8-0 in 18 appearances, with a 2.80 GAA, a .919 save percentage and three shutouts.
Arizona's payment for allowing the St. Louis Blues to rent Zbynek Michalek for a playoff round was center prospect Maxim Letunov. So far, he's been paying some serious dividends, with six goals and eight assists in twelve games for the University of Connecticut.
The Coyotes also own the rights to Brendan Warren, who has three goals and six assists in nine games for the University of Michigan. Also with three goals and six assists is defensive prospect Connor Clifton, who has played thirteen games for the 11-0-2 Quinnipiac University Bobcats.
Other Coyotes prospects include 2013 7th Round pick Jedd Soleway, who has four goals and three assists in twelve games for the University of Wisconsin, and Jared Fiegl, who has yet to record a point in eight games this year for Cornell University.
So Arizona's North American prospects are holistically off to a pretty darn good start, especially the forwards. While the lack of depth at defense and in goal is concerning, those two positions are undoubtedly a priority in this year's NHL Draft. Still, a team that went for years starved for highly touted offensive prospects now has them in abundance.