Dylan Strome is marked as the Arizona Coyotes' number one center of the future. Ryan MacInnis and Christian Dvorak have generated buzz with size and skill.
Yet there's another center prospect in the works that has largely skated under the radar despite posting strong seasons in the QMJHL: 2013 second round selection Laurent Dauphin.
Dauphin, like Dvorak and Brendan Perlini, got an opportunity to play in AHL Portland at the end of last season. In that brief time, he scored once in the regular season, and added two assists in five playoff games.
That came on the heels of a very successful major-junior career with the Chicoutimi Saguenéens of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where he averaged 1.09 points per game in both the regular season and the playoffs.
The Repentigny, Quebec native has also demonstrated a significant amount of resilience, after surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder as well as an appendectomy over the past two years.
All of those factors are why head coach Dave Tippett and development coach Steve Sullivan can't stop talking about him.
"He's not as explosive or dynamic as Max Domi. It's more a case where at the end of a game, when you rewatch the tape, that's when you see all the good things he does in a hockey game." Sullivan told Fox Sports Arizona's Craig Morgan back in March.
Dauphin still has his work cut out for him with the Coyotes; he's competing with Dvorak, Ryan MacInnis, Maxim Letunov, Henrik Samuelsson, and of course, Dylan Strome for center positions in the future. And of all six, Dauphin is the smallest (6' 0", 185 pounds).
The young Coyotes centerman should get a full season to refine both sides of his game in Springfield. If he can stay healthy this preseason, Dauphin will have a chance to show just how far his development has come and set himself apart from some of the other prospects the Arizona Coyotes have at the center position.