19th - Conor Garland - Right Wing
Where Did He Come From? Selected at 123 overall, in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
Rank in last year’s 21 under 21? 12
Has He Played in the NHL?: Not yet
Conor Garland was definitely a low risk, high reward as a fifth round draft pick. His numbers with the Moncton Wildcats in the QMJHL are great, especially in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons where he had a total of 74 goals and 183 assists in 129 games, but it remains to be seen if those numbers will translate to the AHL or the NHL.
Last season Garland played his first season in the AHL, and in 55 games with the Tucson Roadrunners he scored 5 goals, had 9 assists, and was a -13. These numbers definitely leave a lot to be desired, but its important to remember it was just his first season and there is still plenty of time for Garland to find his game at the next level.
Both Christian Fischer and Jeremy Morin finished last season with more goals and points than Garland, and there is a good chance neither will have significant time with the Roadrunners. Fischer is expected to either start or see significant time with the Arizona Coyotes next season, and Morin is currently an unrestricted free agent. This could lead to Garland getting a bump in quality ice time, and hopefully a better chance to show off his offensive flair.
What does the future hold for Garland?:
The transition from Juniors to the AHL or NHL is a different process for every player. It isn’t too late for Garland to find the scoring touch he had in the QMJHL, and if he can do that he can definitely find a place with the Arizona Coyotes in the future. Next season will be a big one for Garland and the Coyotes, and could determine his future with the team and potentially his professional career.