The Arizona Coyotes do not have a great history of drafting and development. When the team is struggling to get their first-round picks right, you can't expect them to be uncovering hidden gems in the later rounds.
But, things do seem to be turning around on that front. Time will tell, but one of the players who look like they could be a hit is Russian forward Alexander Daryin.
20/21 League: KHL (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl), VHL (Buran Voronezh), MHL (Loko Yaroslavl)
Games played: 7, 4, 8
Goals: 1, 1, 4
Assists: 2, 1, 3
Highest rating: 21
Lowest rating: 23
Alexander Daryin is going to be an interesting player for the Coyotes. The former fourth-round pick is on the smaller size, he is 5'11" tall and weighs in at 170 pounds. He has skills, but it remains to be seen if that will translate into a professional league.
Last season was Daryin's first shot at the KHL, where he was limited to just three games. He made an impression during that time, being named the KHL Rookie of the Week for the week of February 28th.
Even though the season just started, Daryin has also played more than double the amount of KHL games he played last season. He has already spent time in the KHL, VHL, and MHL this year, and it will be interesting to see which league he spends the majority of his time with. Last season it was the MHL, the equivalent to a junior league.
If Daryin can spend the majority of this season in the KHL that will be a big step for the young forward. It isn't the end of the world if he doesn't, but it is a good indicator of where he is at in his development and how far he has to go.
Daryin was another player that Corey Pronman wrote has NHL potential when writing for The Athlete. Of Daryin he wrote:
Daryin is a very skilled player with good speed and great work. He can score goals from a distance. I don’t know how well he sees it and he’s undersized and he’ll need to get it done outside the MHL at some point, but the toolkit is very intriguing.
While North America is waiting for their season to start, Daryin is already playing which should give him an advantage. It will be interesting to see how this will impact his development compared to North American prospects who aren't getting the same chance to play.