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.
The first player on our list of single-digit rankings is a former fourth-round (98th overall) draft pick from 2019 that has gone from strength to strength at the professional level over in Europe.
20/21 League: SM-Liiga (Ilves)
Games played: 51
Highest rating: 7
Lowest rating: 10
Last year’s rankings: 12
Finnish left-winger Matias Maccelli comes in at number nine on our Top 25 Under 25 list after yet another stellar year playing for Ilves in his home country.
Maccelli was playing his hockey with the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints when he was drafted, but he immediately headed back home and has played in the top Finnish league for the past two seasons.
The 2019/20 season saw Maccelli stun fans in his home country, registering the most goals, assists, and total points out of all rookies in the SM-Liiga, unsurprisingly being named Rookie of the Year after a 13-goal, 30-point effort in 43 regular-season games.
In his second season as a pro, Maccelli played in eight more games and added nine more points than his rookie totals - scoring 15 goals and adding 24 helpers in 51 games, helping guide Ilves to the playoffs.
His post-season saw him earn a goal and an assist in five playoff games, helping his team reach the quarter-finals before losing to eventual champions Lukko.
His development has progressed impressively well for a mid-round draft pick, and the 20-year-old is now set to bring his talents over to North America and continue his work with the Tucson Roadrunners, where he will be joined by a number of the Coyotes’ top young prospects.
Maccelli projects to be a solid AHL player already and could be in line to jump to the NHL earlier than some of his contemporaries. Seeing him work alongside a stable of bright young talents in the minors should make Coyotes fans excited.
The future looks bright for the Turku native, and his progress will be watched closely by the organization, with John Ferguson Jr now the general manager of the Roadrunners.