If you have been following this series it should come as no surprise that the Arizona Coyotes were active with their fifth-round picks. Before drafting 142nd they actually traded two fifth-round other picks, the 127th* and 136th** overall. The Coyotes still had two more picks in the fifth-round though, and the 142nd*** was used by the Coyotes to draft defenseman Michael Callahan.
Team: Providence College
Regular Season Games Played: 41
Playoff Games Played: N/a
Playoff Goals: N/a
Playoff Assists: N/a
In his first year in the NCAA the Franklin, MA native seems to have adjusted reasonably well. The transition from lower leagues like the USHL to the NCAA can prove to be daunting for some players, and luckily Callahan was paired at least part of the season with a senior Vincent Desharnais (2016 seventh-round pick by the Edmonton Oilers) to help him transition.
Callahan himself described the changes in a piece by John Connolly with the Boston Herald when the team was in the hunt for a spot in the NCAA Frozen Four. “For me, coming from juniors, this is a bigger stage. There’s more people watching. Obviously, the level of play is a lot higher, so obviously, there’s a little bit of an adjustment at the beginning.”
During the season Callahan would also attend the U.S. National Junior Team training camp with fellow defenseman Ty Emberson. Callahan ultimately would be cut from the team.
Its hard to know what Callahan’s place with the Coyotes is. Typically defensemen take longer to develop, which seems like it will be the case for Callahan. His history suggests that he isn’t going to provide a lot of offense from the blue line, but could develop into a defensive defenseman. Since Coyotes aren’t hurting for blue line prospects, Callahan will need to do something to stand out, but he still has plenty of time to grow and develop.
*Sent to Philadelphia along with Brendan Warren for Merrick Madsen and Montreal-bound Nick Cousins.
**Calgary’s pick was sent to the Coyotes as part of the return for defenseman Michael Stone, which was ultimately traded to New Jersey for goaltender Scott Wedgewood.
***The 142nd pick was originally the Columbus Blue Jackets’ and was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks as part of the deal that sent Artemi Panarin to the Blue Jackets and sent Brandon Saad back to the Blackhawks. The Coyotes would acquire this pick along with the 87th overall pick (traded to the San Jose Sharks for the 114th and 145th picks) in exchange for the 74th overall pick.