Nobody would accuse the Arizona Coyotes of having the deepest prospect pool in the NHL. But Arizona does have a few younger players to keep your eyes on. So far three young players are set to leave juniors and make the leap to the profession league, with the most likely destination being the Tucson Roadrunners.
For this post we are only going to be looking at new players who have no AHL experience and who won't be able to return to juniors (i.e. no Barrett Hayton). Also its important to keep in mind how difficult the jump from juniors to the AHL can be. The competition is older and tougher, and plenty of things that work in the CHL don’t work in the AHL.
Last Team: Guelph Storm
Games played last season: 65
Playoff Goals: 8
Playoff Assists: 11
Drafted: 2017 75th overall
The expression “has done everything there is to do in juniors” gets thrown a lot when it comes to developing prospects. For Schnarr it definitely applies.
Last season he had a breakout year, doubling his previous career high points by notching 102, the ninth most in the OHL. He was an OHL Champion and a selection to the OHL Third All-Star Team.
It remains to be seen if Schnarr’s new found offense is going to translate to the professional leagues. Many players find it harder to score in the AHL let alone the NHL. But as he adjusts to the professional game he will hopefully keep his new found scoring touch.
Last Team: Saginaw Spirit
Games played last season: 53
Goals Against Average: 2.94
Save Percentage: .910
Playoff Goals Against Average: 2.38
Playoff save Percentage: .930
Drafted: 2018 114th
For a more indepth look at Prosvetov check out our 2018 draft class review.
Prosvetov was another Coyotes prospect who had a stellar last year of juniors. He was one of the best goaltenders in the league, helped lead the Spirit to the playoffs and was named to the OHL Third All-Star Team.
Given the Roadrunners already have some great goaltenders in Adin Hill and Merrick Madsen, Prosvetov may have to wait a bit until he plays in Arizona. If he can replicate the success he had in Saginaw expect him to join the “future Coyotes goaltender” conversation with Hill and Madsen.
Last Team: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Games played last season: 66
Playoff Goals: 7
Playoff Assists: 5
Drafted: Not drafted
Howdeshell went undrafted, but like Schnarr he broke out last season. In 66 he finished with 46 goals, ninth most in the OHL.
The Roadrunners’ General Manager Steve Sullivan signed Keeghan to a one-year contract this past April. In the Roadrunners’ press release Sullivan noted “Keeghan’s offensive production speaks for itself and we look forward to seeing his work in Tucson.”
Keeghan is going to need to work hard to prove that last season wasn’t a fluke. Adjusting to the AHL can prove difficult for some players, but a one-year deal doesn’t leave much room for error. If he can continue to generate offense 30 other teams are going to feel like fools for not giving him a shot.