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.
In the seventh round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft at 204th overall, the Arizona Coyotes drafted forward Ben McCartney.
McCartney had already been passed over once at the draft, and it looked like it would happen again last year. But since being drafted, he has played exceptionally well, impressing in his final year in Juniors and making a big splash in his professional debut.
20/21 League: WHL, AHL
Games played: 24, 4
Goals: 13, 1
Assists: 24, 4
Highest rating: 18
Lowest rating: Not rated
Last year’s rankings:
The 20-year-old native of Macdonald, MB, has been progressing nicely, and last season he finished his time in Juniors and made his professional debut with the Tucson Roadrunners.
McCartney had progressed well under the Brandon Wheat Kings.
In 2019/20, he set career-highs in goals (25), assists (36), and points (61), and he was second on the team in goals and points behind Luka Burzan. The 2020/21 season was shorter, only 24 games, but McCartney continued to produce, leading his team in assists (24) and points (37) while finishing second in goals (13). Last season was also the first time he wore an “A” for the Wheat Kings.
With his time in Juniors over, McCartney made his professional debut with the Tucson Roadrunners. He made a big splash with a multipoint debut game, and in four regular-season games, he scored a goal and recorded four assists.
McCartney’s 1.25 points-per-game pace is definitely unsustainable during an entire season, but he came ready to play, which should serve him well.
With the Coyotes in full rebuild mode, McCartney should have plenty of room to advance as far as he can. The team will have many gaps in the foreseeable future, with scoring being a significant need for the Coyotes. However, if McCartney can continue to produce, he should have plenty of opportunities.
Being drafted as an overager could prove advantageous for McCartney. He will get a chance to develop in the Tucson Roadrunners for as long as needed, and if all goes well, he will have plenty of opportunities to makes the Coyotes. The team has only three players signed in 2023-24, and Bill Armstrong seems hesitant to make any long-term commitments, which leaves plenty of space for McCartney to impress.