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.
General Manager Bill Armstrong’s plan for the Arizona Coyotes is to rebuild through the draft. And so far, he has executed that plan exceptionally well, acquiring numerous first and second-round picks in exchange for the variety of veterans on the Coyotes roster.
That was the case back in July when the Coyotes sent Darcy Kuemper to the Colorado Avalanche. The Coyotes got a first-round pick for next year’s draft and a conditional third-round pick for 2024 in exchange for their starting goaltender. But in addition to the first-round pick, the Coyotes also acquired defenseman Conor Timmins.
20/21 League: NHL (Avalanche), AHL (Eagles)
Games played: 31, 6
Goals: 0, 1
Assists: 7, 3
Highest rating: 6
Lowest rating: 9
Last year’s rankings: Not ranked
The Coyotes may have struck gold in acquiring Timmins. Timmins was initially drafted 32nd overall by the Avalanche, and throughout his junior career with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds showed an offensive flair to go along with a solid defensive foundation.
He also played well for Team Canada at the 2018 World Juniors, leading the tournament in plus/minus with a +15 and winning a gold medal.
But unfortunately, Timmins’ development would hit a bit of a rough patch as his junior career ended. Timmins sustained a concussion in his final season with the Greyhounds, and he ended up missing the 2018-19 season.
Missing a whole season will impact a young player negatively, but it isn’t the end of the world. Timmins was back for the 2019-20 season, which he split between the Avalanche and their AHL affiliate, the Colorado Eagles.
In Timmins’ first professional season, he finished with 3 goals and 24 points over 40 regular-season games. He was ninth on the team overall in points scored and second in points scored by a defenseman, tied with former Coyote Kevin Connauton.
Timmins would start the next season in the AHL, but injuries would lead to him getting called up by the Avalanche. He would play 31 games with the Avalanche, where he recorded seven assists.
Timmins’ wasn’t a game-breaker with the Avalanche, although one article from the time describes him as the “poor man’s Cale Makar.” He still has room to grow as a player, but most articles generally agree that he didn’t look out of place. For only his second professional season, that is impressive.
What comes next for Timmins remains to be seen. So far, he has been playing well with the Coyotes, and there is an expectation that he will one day be a legit top-four NHL defenseman. And with the Coyotes’ defensive corps being relatively weak, Timmins should have plenty of opportunities to show what he can do.
There is a question as to where he will be slotted in during the upcoming season. Timmins’ didn’t play in the Coyotes’ first preseason game yesterday, which could give us an idea who his partner will be next season. Jakob Chychrun, Ilya Lyubushkin, and Victor Söderström also sat for yesterday’s game, and it seems likely we will see Timmins slot in with one of them for the next game.
The Coyotes shouldn’t worry about rushing Timmins if he isn’t ready. The Coyotes will be bad next season, and there is no reason to rush the development of a prospect like Timmins if he needs some sheltered minutes or a few games in the AHL. But it will be interesting to see where he fits in during the rest of preseason.