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.
As we move closer to the top five players in our rankings, we have a player that has impressed throughout his development and even made his NHL debut this past season.
Czech forward Jan Jeník has gone from strength to strength since being selected in the third round (65th overall) of the 2018 Draft, with his long-term future at the NHL level looking more and more likely.
2020–21 league: NHL (Arizona Coyotes), AHL (Tucson Roadrunners), Mestis (Ketterä)
Games played: 2/29/7
Highest individual ranking: 6
Lowest individual ranking: 9
Last year’s ranking: 9
The 21-year-old Nymburk native was originally drafted out of the professional leagues in his home country before jumping over to North America to play with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the OHL.
During his first stint in southern Ontario, Jeník put up 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists) in just 27 appearances while contributing two assists in three games with his country at the World Juniors.
The following year saw Jeník build on his early success in Canada. The 6-foot-1 forward demonstrated his willingness to play a physical game while excelling on the offensive production front - adding 56 points (22 goals, 34 assists) in the same number of games as the previous season.
He earned himself another spot on the Czech Republic’s World Juniors team again, scoring twice and adding a helper in another three games on the international stage.
With the Coronavirus pandemic impact hockey worldwide, Jeník found himself appearing in three different leagues on both sides of the Atlantic.
First, he spent a brief spell in the Finnish second tier with Ketterä, where he was just over a point-per-game player in seven games before returning to North America to continue his development with the Tucson Roadrunners.
Jeník had a positive time in the desert, featuring in 29 games and having 14 points before earning himself a brief two-game stint with the Arizona Coyotes - in which he registered a goal in each game he played against the San Jose Sharks.
Jeník has been watched closely by the NHL club as he has developed, and this upcoming season could see him split time in both the AHL and NHL if he can continue to build on his already impressive trajectory.
He is one of the most promising young players currently in the organization. There is every hope and belief that he will be playing regularly in the NHL in the next couple of seasons - with the team’s rebuild likely to aid in fast-tracking him into the Show.