While the signings of career NHLers always make the headlines, no team is complete without a myriad of free agent signings to round out its depth.
The Arizona Coyotes are no exception, as they have brought in seven different players to improve their overall depth at the forward and defenseman positions. Although almost all of these players will likely spend the majority of this season with the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League, look for these players to make appearances in Sedona Red as injuries or poor play take their toll on the opening night roster.
Brendan Shinnimin (Forward)
The 5' 10" center earned his first call-up to the NHL last season after posting consecutive double-digit goal seasons in AHL Portland. In 12 games, Shinnimin had an assist and eight PIMs while posting a 5v5 SAT of 49.1%.
With 28 points in 52 AHL contests last year, Shinnimin was a consistent offensive producer for the Pirates. He did not find the same success in his brief NHL stint, and he may find a hard time finding a center job with Antoine Vermette, Martin Hanzal, Brad Richardson, and Boyd Gordon on the roster.
Dustin Jeffrey (Forward)
A new arrival in the Coyotes system, Dustin Jeffrey spent six seasons in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization before they dealt him to the Dallas Stars in 2013-14. From there, In the 2014-15 season, Jeffrey split time between the Utica Comets - Vancouver's AHL affiliate - and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers - the affiliate of the New York Islanders.
While Jeffrey has been reasonably productive in the NHL - he's posted 17 goals and 14 assists over 124 NHL games - he has yet to play more than 26 games for an NHL team in a single year.
Jeffrey is a prime candidate to push the rookies for roster spots during training camp, and should he not make the team on Opening Night, he would likely be one of the first call-ups in case of subpar performance or injury.
Eric Selleck (Forward)
The Portland Pirates' tough guy is back for another year. The Coyotes re-signed Eric Selleck to a one-year contract after he recorded eight goals, 15 assists, and 185 penalty minutes in 74 games with Portland.
Don't expect to see Selleck up in the NHL any time soon, especially with John Scott on the roster; in his lone two NHL appearances with the Florida Panthers, Selleck recorded an impressive 17 penalty minutes, and a one-game suspension for leaving the bench to fight Kevin Westgarth here:
Alex Grant (Defenseman)
Another product of the Penguins system, Grant arrives in Arizona after a season in a half in the Binghamton Senators organization. In his last season with the AHL Senators, Grant had six goals and 27 assists in 58 games.
Grant has only played two NHL games, but he scored in both contests. Thus far Grant has been a prolific point producer in the AHL. He may potentially earn an injury call-up to the NHL should the Coyotes have a need for another right handed shot capable of producing offense.
Philip Samuelsson (Defenseman)
The brother of Coyotes' first round pick Henrik Samuelsson, Philip was the other depth player to avoid arbitration earlier this week by agreeing to a one-year, two-way contract. Samuelsson played four games with Arizona this year after being acquired from Pittsburgh in the Rob Klinkhammer trade, but recorded zero points.
Samuelsson may in fact be the most important player on this list to receive a contract with Arizona. Samuelsson is likely the #8 defenseman on the depth chart, after Brandon Gormley. Should Gormley underperform at training camp, or should there be an injury at some point in the season, Samuelsson will probably be the first player to be called up.
Dylan Reese (Defenseman)
A veteran of last season's Portland Pirates team, Reese returns to the Coyotes organization after making one appearance in the NHL last season. He scored 10 goals and 30 assists for the Pirates in 72 games, his most productive season.
Reese more than earned his spot with the Pirates last year, and should be a good replacement right handed shot in the event of an injury. But if last season is any indication, Reese will probably not see NHL ice for much of the year.
Derek Smith (Defenseman)
After a season with the ZSC Lions in Switzerland, Smith is back in North America with the Coyotes organization. Smith brings 94 games worth of NHL experience with the Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators to the defensive corps.
At 30 years old, it seems that Smith's best offensive days are behind him. He had only three goals and two assists in 25 games for the Lions, and only two goals and 12 assists in the NHL as a whole. He should compete with Philip Samuelsson for the top left-handed shot in AHL Springfield this year, and is another veteran presence in a defensive corps that badly needs depth.