clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Top 25 under 25: Pederson, Kirk, Miska, Mermis and Dineen get the ball rolling

New, comments

The Five for Howling crew have ranked the Top 25 players in the organization that are under age 25.

Anaheim Ducks v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Arizona Coyotes have a wealth of young talent spread throughout every level of the organization. In fact, 55 players were young enough to qualify for this year’s rankings, all of whom were still under 25 years old as of August 1.

These rankings are subjective, with each participant deciding for themselves what criteria was most important to inform their choices. Each of our staff members ranked the players they felt should be in the Top 25 and every player that didn’t make their individual list was considered tied at rank 26. The rankings were then averaged and sorted to determine the final ranking.

There were several players that were ranked on at least one person’s list but did not average highly enough to make the Top 25. These honorable mentions include: Jens Looke, Merrick Madsen, Hudson Fasching, Jalen Smereck, Adam Helewka, Kevin Ekman-Larsson and Jordan Gross.

Here are the players that ranked 25-21:

25. Lane Pederson

Highest Rank: 21
Lowest Rank: Not Ranked (26)
Last Year’s Ranking: 31

After being overlooked by every team in the draft, Lane Pederson was signed to his entry-level contract after an impressive tryout with the Coyotes in 2016-17. He spent the entire 2017-18 season with the Tucson Roadrunners, playing as both a center and a winger, up and down the lineup. Pederson’s overall record with the AHL team was 12-14-26 over 63 of 68 regular season games. He did very well for his first full season as a professional hockey player and hopefully that upward trajectory will continue.

24. Liam Kirk

Highest Rank: 12
Lowest Rank: Not Ranked (26)
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

One of the Coyotes newest drafted players, Liam Kirk, is also one of the most mysterious. As the first English born and English trained player to be drafted, it is unknown how Kirk will stand up against other players of his age. He has played against, and with, much older players on the Sheffield Steelers of the Elite Ice Hockey League in the United Kingdom, where he recorded the most points by an under-18 player in league history by scoring 9 goals and 7 assists. Kirk has already stated that he will be playing in North America for the upcoming season, most likely with the Peterborough Petes in the Ontario Hockey League. He will have the opportunity to show what he can do against his peers while adjusting to the smaller North American ice rinks.

23. Hunter Miska

Highest Rank: 18
Lowest Rank: 23
Last Year’s Ranking: 15

Hunter Miska spent his first professional season as part of the goalie tandem with Adin Hill for the Tucson Roadrunners. Playing in 36 of 68 games he managed a .901 save percentage and a goals against average of 2.63. His 22 wins is second among rookie goalies that played 1,440 minutes or more. If Miska can take a big step in his sophomore season he is definitely still on track to be a goalie of the future for the team.

22. Dakota Mermis

Highest Rank: 16
Lowest Rank: 23
Last Year’s Ranking: 29

Dakota Mermis is definitely one of the players to watch during training camp. Due to all the injuries, he got a chance to play with the NHL club in both November and April and though he didn’t light up the scoreboard he got the chance to see how the NHL operates. That can be a big advantage as he prepares this summer to challenge for one of the last remaining defense openings on the NHL roster. During his 59 games in Tucson he earned 19 points with 2 goals and 17 assists, which was enough to earn him another contract for this coming season.

21. Cam Dineen

Highest Rank: 16
Lowest Rank: Not Ranked (26)
Last Year’s Ranking: 17

Cam Dineen has finished out a strong year for his last in junior hockey with a combined total of 20 goals and 44 assists for the North Bay Battalion and the Sarnia Sting. Dineen has come a long way since recovering from a torn MCL in 2016-17 that limited him to 29 games. It is expected that he will start the new season with the Tucson Roadrunners.