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Coyotes 25 under 25: #11 Kyle Capobianco

The Canadian defenseman looks to finally make the NHL this upcoming season.

Chicago Blackhawks v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

The 2021/22 season is fast approaching, so here at Five For Howling, we’re taking a look at this year’s Arizona Coyotes 25 best players under the age of 25.

Kyle Capobianco has seemed to be on the verge of breaking into the NHL the past few seasons, only to be reassigned to the Tucson Roadrunners again and again. This season may be his last chance, but a revamped defensive corps and a new coach should give him all of the opportunity he needs to make his presence known.

20/21 League: NHL, AHL

Games played: 2, 20

Goals: 0, 2

Assists: 0, 11

Highest rating: 9

Lowest rating: 16

Last year’s rankings: 11

As a 24-year-old, this will be the last season that Kyle Capobianco appears on the 25 under 25. But, it also feels like this may be the last season that Capobianco is with the Coyotes organization in general.

Since being drafted, Kyle Capobianco has spent much of his professional career with the Tucson Roadrunners. Unfortunately, for most of his professional career, the Coyotes’ blue line was all but set in stone, and there wasn’t much opportunity for a young player like Capobianco to earn a spot. He was an occasional callup, but he never really found a way to crack the lineup under Coach Tocchet.

Last season, Capobianco got some time on the taxi squad but failed to establish himself as an NHL player. And while the organization protected him during the Seattle Expansion draft, at the time, it was suspected this was so he could be used to acquire veteran defenseman Anton Strålman from the Florida Panthers.

If that were the plan, it would prove unnecessary, as the Coyotes acquired Strålman, Vladislav Kolyachonok, and a second-round pick in 2024 for a seventh-round pick in 2023.

The Coyotes blowing up their blue line should give Capobianco a good shot at making the team. Without question, Capobianco has proven that he is an excellent AHL player. But he will need a big training camp and a solid season to show he can take that next step in his development.

If Capobianco has a good training camp and fits well with Coach Tourigny’s system, he should have plenty of opportunities this season. But if he has a slow start, I can see the Coyotes shopping him while he still has value. Either way, it should be a busy year for the Mississauga native.