The 2021–22 season is fast approaching. Here at Five For Howling, we’re taking a look at this year’s 25 best Arizona Coyotes players under the age of 25.
Without question, the Arizona Coyotes had the busiest 2021 offseason of any NHL team. They traded multiple core pieces and added future assets in exchange for taking on bad contracts.
The Coyotes acquired defensive prospect Vladislav Kolyachonok from Florida in one of those “cap dump” trades. Here’s an overview of his 2020–21 season.
2020–21 leagues: KHL (Dinamo Minsk), AHL (Syracuse Crunch)
KHL Games played: 46
KHL Goals: 1
KHL Assists: 5
AHL Games played: 10
KHL Goals: 0
KHL Assists: 2
Highest individual ranking: 11
Lowest individual ranking: 17
Last year’s ranking: N/A
Despite only having turned 20 in May, Kolyachonok spent the majority of the 2020–21 campaign playing a regular role on a KHL team.
Very few 19-year-olds play full seasons in the KHL. According to Elite Prospects, only 29 players younger than 20 appeared in more than 20 KHL games last season, with only eight playing defense.
Kolyachonok’s 46 games tied for fourth among those 29 players. He ranked eighth among Dinamo Minsk defenders with an average of 14:48 per game.
The Florida Panthers selected Kolyachonok in the second round (52nd overall) of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. He quickly signed an entry-level contract with the team; after sliding twice due to Kolyachonok’s tenures in the OHL and KHL, his ELC will begin to take effect in 2021–22.
Born in Minsk, Belarus on May 26, 2001, Kolyachonok is a 6’1”, 185-pound lefty who should take on a full-time role with the Tucson Roadrunners in 2021–22. He already has 10 games of AHL experience, all coming at the end of last season with the Syracuse Crunch.
Kolyachonok is an excellent skater who can play a physical game. He was a shrewd acquisition for Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong, particularly given how the ‘Yotes only sacrificed one year’s worth of $5.5 million in cap space (belonging to Anton Strålman) to add him and a second-round draft pick.
In 2021–22, Kolyachonok will likely fight for playing time in Tucson with Janis Moser, Cam Dineen, Cole Hults, and (possibly) Vladislav Provolnev. However, there’s a chance he could slot in as a top-four defenseman as an AHL rookie.