The Arizona Coyotes did not draft forward Lane Pederson when he was first available. Nobody drafted Lane Pederson. But in the past two seasons, Pederson has gone from undrafted prospect to an AHL leader who seems poised for a shot at the NHL soon.
19/20 League: AHL (Tucson Roadrunners)
Games played: 37
Highest rating: 14
Lowest rating: 16
Pederson is another undrafted Coyotes player who is doing well in the AHL. He has spent the past three seasons with the Tucson Roadrunners and he has improved every season.
Like many players, Pederson took some time to adjust to the professional game. He put up a respectable 12 goals and 14 assists in 63 games, with a team that had Dylan Strome, Lawson Crouse, and Conor Garland.
With those three finding their way to the NHL, Pederson took advantage of the opportunity. Shrugging off a sophomore slump, in his second season with the Roadrunners he led his team in goals (23) and points (47).
Unfortunately, things didn't go great for Pederson in his third season with the team. He suffered a lower-body injury and was limited to just 27 games. When he was healthy he was great, and he was on pace to have career-highs in goals, assists, and points. He was also selected to represent the Roadrunners at the AHL All-Star Game, something that he was unable to do.
Then interim GM Steve Sullivan signed Pederson to a one-year, two-way deal this past offseason. Given how well Pederson has improved over the past three seasons he seems in a great position to get a raise next season.
Pederson is one of the more intriguing prospects for the Coyotes. He has been playing extremely well in the AHL, but that doesn't necessarily translate into an NHL career. He isn't a highly rated prospect in a lot of ratings, but he has done enough to earn a spot.
When the 2020/21 NHL season begins I do think that we are going to see Pederson during the regular season. The team is going to need to see what Pederson can do at the highest level and if his AHL success can translate.
It is hard to think of a better situation for the Coyotes after signing undrafted forward Lane Pederson. He wasn't the best WHL player, but he is fast becoming one of the better AHL players. From the outside Pederson appears to be doing the work needed to make himself a better player, it just remains to be seen how far he can go.