The Arizona Coyotes acquired multiple fifth-round picks in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. One of those picks we discussed previously, the other was obtained when the Coyotes sent Toronto’s third-round pick (87th) to the San Jose Sharks for their fourth-round pick (114th) and their fifth-round pick (145th). The Coyotes would use the fifth-round pick to draft another defenseman, Dennis Busby.
Team: Flint Firebirds
Regular Season Games Played: 27
Playoff Games Played: N/a
Playoff Goals: N/a
Playoff Assists: N/a
There are few things that can derail a hockey career like an injury. Unfortunately for Busby, he has already lost the majority of two seasons with injuries. During the 2017-18 season he was limited to just 2 games with a broken collar bone and last year he broke his foot at the Coyotes training camp which cost him all but 27 games.
Missing most of two seasons with injuries is bound to raise questions, but neither injury seems to indicate an underlying problem. His numbers last season are impressive given the limited amount of time he played, and he wears an “A” for Flint giving him experience leading a team.
Towards the end of the season he would get another opportunity to grow, signing an Amateur Tryout Agreement with the Tucson Roadrunners, although he would not play with the team. There is nothing that beats actually playing hockey, but getting the chance to practice with players playing the next level is definitely beneficial to a players development.
Busby has the same problem as a lot of defensemen in the Coyotes system. The Coyotes pipeline is full of solid defensive prospects, and it is going to be difficult to compete. Missing time can definitely hamper that, but it is far too early to write off Busby. A full season is going to give everyone a better chance to see what he can do, and beyond that it is up to Busby to earn his spot in the conversation.