The Arizona Coyotes under GM John Chayka made traded a lot of picks for picks. They sent the 74th overall pick to the Chicago Blackhawks in order to acquire the 87th and 142nd overall picks. The odds of a player making it to the NHL really start to plummet after the second round, so there is a logic in getting as many picks as you can to beat the odds. With the 142nd overall pick, the team drafted defenseman Michael Callahan.
Team: Providence College
Regular Season Games Played: 34
Callahan had a very successful sophomore season with Providence College and appears to be developing well. He was named captain of his team and more than doubled his goals and assists despite playing seven fewer games.
This leap forward was noticed around the hockey world. Callahan was named to the NCAA (Hockey East) First All-Star Team and the NCAA (New England) D1 All-Stars. He was also named a semifinalist for the Walter Brown Award, which is annually given to the best American-born Division 1 college hockey player in New England.
In Corey Pronman’s analysis of the Coyotes’ organization, Callahan was ranked 9th in the franchise and seemed to be a legit NHL player in the making. Pronman noted:
He’s a two-way defender with size and a very good brain. His speed or skill won’t dazzle, but he’s an efficient puck-mover. . . After last season though, where you saw a 6-foot-2 defenseman who could make stops and move the puck and skates at a fair level, I could see his game translating into becoming a good pro.
Last year’s review of Callahan seems like they are describing a completely different piece. Callahan was focused on adjusting to the NCAA pace and didn’t look like he was going to add much offensively. This past season he quarterbacked the power play which gave him 19 of his 23 assists, and he had a seven-game point streak.
Callahan is a player that is easy to overlook from the outside. He is a fifth-round defenseman who went to the NCAA where he had a good, but not great, first season. He is showing that it was foolish to overlook him though and if he keeps developing he could be a steal for the Coyotes in the coming years.