In the third round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, the Arizona Coyotes drafted center John Farinacci from Red Bank, New Jersey. He wasn't a big name prospect when he was drafted, hence dropping down to the third round, but he has turned things around in the year since being drafted.
20/21 League: USHL (Muskegon Lumberjacks)
Games played: 4
Highest rating: 18
Lowest rating: 19
The pandemic is affecting everyone's schedule, Farinacci included. Last season was his first at Harvard, where he finished with 10 goals and 12 assists. He wasn't one of the top players, finishing fourth on his team in goals scored and sixth in points, but he had a good freshman season.
Farinacci earned some honors in his season, being named to the 2019-20 ECAC Hockey All-Rookie Team. Harvard was a great team last season, which Farinacci both benefited from while being a big part of that high-offense team.
Farinacci's first season at Harvard earned him some praise. He was ranked 10th on Corey Pronman's 2020 NHL organization rankings with Pronman noting:
Farinacci is very skilled, making high-end dekes seem routine and showing flashes of the highest grades of skill. He’s a creative offensive player who does things the opponents don’t expect. He also shows the vision and patience of a pro playmaker.
Unfortunately, the NCAA is a bit up in the air right now so Farinacci is currently in the USHL. Sports Illustrated has him at number 2 of Top 40 USHL Players to Watch and seems poised to make Team USA for the 2021 World Juniors so his development hopefully won't be too impacted by this.
The hype from Sports Illustrated has so far been well-deserted, and Farinacci is playing well in the USHL. He was given an "A" to wear, showing the team sees him as a leader, and he is third on the team in goals and points and he is on a point-per-game pace.
When the Coyotes drafted John Farinacci he didn't have much name recognition. In just a season he has become one of the Coyotes' more interesting prospects, a player to watch. This season there is a chance we will see him on an international stage, playing in the World Juniors, which could raise his stock even more.
The Coyotes' offense is a major issue that needs to be addressed moving forward. Farinacci seems poised to become a big piece in that, but he isn't a player who is going to provide an immediate impact. There is absolutely no reason to rush a player like Farinacci, the team should take all necessary time to develop him.