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Adin Hill’s NHL performance was expected

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Hill takes the NHL by storm, takes ‘second star of the week’ honors with him

Arizona Coyotes v New York Rangers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Arizona Coyotes’ goaltender Adin Hill took the league by storm last week with franchise record breaking performances. With a 3-0-0 start complimented by a .983 SV% and 0.43 GAA, Hill set the Coyotes franchise record for the longest shutout streak by a goaltender to begin a season, on top of being the youngest Coyotes goaltender (age 22) to record a shutout. Such feats have given Hill the NHL “second star of the week” honors.

Hill came into the NHL from the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners to support the Coyotes, who have their starting and backup goaltenders, Antti Raanta and Darcy Kuemper, out with injuries.

As someone who has covered the Tucson Roadrunners for the last year and a half, I can say nothing Adin Hill did this past week comes as a surprise to me. What I saw was classic Adin Hill. Yes, what he did in his first three NHL starts is still nothing short of impressive, despite my expectations. And, I guess I’m just surprised it didn’t come sooner.

Hill has inarguably been the Roadrunners best goaltender in the last couple seasons. I’ve seen Hill “stand on his head” in numerous crucial games for Tucson, that ultimately lead to the Roadrunners’ Calder Cup playoff appearance. Last season, Hill recorded six shutouts with the Roadrunners, including one in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs.

There have been minor inconsistencies — off-games and just straight up bad nights —, as you might expect from a goaltender in the development leagues, but he’s been overall the most talented goaltender for the team.

I look back to last season in late February when the former Roadrunners head coach Mike Van Ryn started to think about giving Hill more nods than Hunter Miska in the final stretch of the season.

“It’s a development league,” Van Ryn said at the time. “So we’ve been trying to develop two young goalies and now we’ll look at the schedule and be a little more calculated to who starts.”

That weekend, the Hill set aside about 42 shots on goal in back-to-back nights.

Unfortunately for Hill, he still sits behind Raanta and Kuemper on the Coyotes depth chart. That will give Hill more time back in Tucson to keep doing what he’s doing. He’ll be ready for the call when the Coyotes need him again.