Forward Mario Kempe and goaltender Marek Langhamer were both re-assigned to the AHL Tucson Roadrunners, leaving Arizona with 14 forwards, 8 defenseman, and 2 goaltenders.
Offseason pick-up Zac Rinaldo makes the cut along with rookie forwards Dylan Strome, Clayton Keller, and Christian Fischer.
Rinaldo, who played all of last season in the AHL, has a five-game NHL suspension from 2015-16 that he has yet to serve, which may be part of why Arizona has kept him on the final roster. Easier to get those 5 games out of the way now and then re-assign him later while bringing someone else up (possibly Kempe), if that’s the plan.
Kempe, who is waiver exempt, had an excellent camp and preseason, making him a strong candidate for call-ups throughout the season or possibly a permanent stay if he continues to progress.
While Keller looked like a shoo-in during camp and with Fisher putting up a strong showing, Strome is the only one out of the final group that could be considered a semi-surprise in the final line-up. He had a decent camp but needs to show he can make more of an impact at the NHL level and the Coyotes seem to be giving him that chance.
With Jakob Chychrun also officially on injured reserve (knee), the Coyotes are currently carrying 8 defensemen.