Lane Pederson has been on the move quite a bit in his young WHL career. The Saskatoon native has played for three WHL teams in as many seasons, but it was his consistent production that caught the attention of the Arizona Coyotes’ brass.
Pederson scored 20 goals and recorded 35 assists in 72 games split between the Red Deer Rebels and the Swift Current Broncos. And this season, he has a pair of goals and seven assists in seven games with Swift Current, which is tied for second on the team.
Pederson brings talent on both ends of the ice; he has a pair of power play assists and a shorthanded assist this season. And at 6’ 1”, 196 pounds, Pederson is slightly bigger than some of Arizona’s other prospects down the middle, namely Clayton Keller and Christian Dvorak.
While Lane Pederson is not going to be mistaken for either of those two highly skilled players, Arizona is going to need middle and bottom six centers who can blend creativity with physicality. Pederson joins a mix of center prospects that includes Ryan MacInnis, Tyler Gaudet, and Laurent Dauphin. And at just 19, Pederson can be useful depth for the team as they wait to see how their other center prospects pan out.
This fall, Pederson went into Coyotes rookie camp on an amateur tryout agreement prior to the WHL season. He clearly made quite the impression, as he became the second player after defenseman Jalen Smereck to earn an entry-level contract after rookie camp.
As for Pederson, he seems happy to be in the fold.
Dream come true signing my first NHL contract with the @ArizonaCoyotes . So grateful for all the support I've received along the way!— Lane Pederson (@LanePederson) October 13, 2016
In recent years, Arizona has been heavily dependent on the OHL for its major-junior talent; with the promotions of Dysin Mayo and Christian Fischer to the AHL, Nick Merkley is the only other Coyotes’ prospect still in the WHL.
The Coyotes signed Lane Pederson to avoid the risk that Pederson would play his way onto another team’s NHL draft board this summer. In the early goings of the season, their confidence appears to be well founded.