There are a lot of questions surrounding the 2020-21 season. The world is still combatting Covid-19, we aren't sure if games are going to have fans, and there are no firm answers on the AHL front. But with these big questions come smaller questions, what to do with a specific player, what league is best for them, what is going on with the Taxi Squads. Today we take a look at those smaller questions, regarding some of the Coyotes' prospects.
1. How many NHL games will Barrett Hayton play?
Hayton is a really big question mark for the team this year. He has excelled at every level of hockey leading up to the NHL, but last season he looked like he would be better served in the AHL. This season the team won't be restricted into sending him back to the OHL, so the team can send him to the Tucson Roadrunners where he will get to play consistently. But he has had an offseason to train and he spent time in Liiga with Ilves so he may be ready for full-time NHL duty.
2. Will we see Jan Jeník this season?
A year ago today it seemed like Jeník was destined to spend the season in the AHL. But while everyone else was not playing, Jeník played seven games with Ketterä in Finland where he had five goals and three assists. Since being drafted Jeník has dealt with injuries and changing leagues, but through it all, he has shown he is an excellent hockey player. Jeník likely will start in the AHL with the Roadrunners, but if he has a hot start he may earn a call-up.
3. Who will be on the Taxi Squad?
The Taxi Squad is going to be an interesting wrinkle this season. If you are unfamiliar CapFriendly released a very easy to follow breakdown of the rules.
Taxi Squad details for the 2020-21 #NHL season:https://t.co/XpdrFRgPbt pic.twitter.com/5qNa7lA2ZL— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) December 20, 2020
It will be interesting to see how teams approach their Taxi Squads. Do you load it up with your best players to make sure you always have someone, or do you let those players play in the AHL? If you want to make sure your prospects get plenty of games you probably don't want them there, if you want them to practice with the team and jump in if needed you do.
4. Does Söderström make the team this year?
Victor Söderström was one fo the last cuts at training camp last season, he had a great World Juniors and season in the SHL with Brynäs IF, and is currently wearing an “A” for Sweden at this year’s World Juniors. At first, it looked like Söderström would be spending the season in the AHL, but who knows where he will be this season.
5. Will Prosvetov make his NHL debut?
It looks like teams will be leaning on three goalies this season, with Darcy Kuemper, Antti Raanta, and Adin Hill being an excellent trifecta for the Coyotes. But Coyotes fans know that the team's netminders have struggled to stay healthy in the past. This means we could get a chance to see Ivan Prosvetov in a game this season. Prosvetov has quickly shot up the Coyotes' goaltending depth charts, and likely will be Roadrunners starter, but it would be nice for fans to get a chance to see how close he is to being NHL ready.