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 Arizona Coyotes drafted defenseman Michael Callahan 142nd overall in the fifth round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. The Franklin, MA native has the size and so far has proven himself to be a good player and leader at the NCAA level.
20/21 League: NCAA (Providence College)
Games played: 25
Highest rating: 18
Lowest rating: 21
Last year’s rankings: 14
Like many other players, Michael Callahan had to play a shortened, retooled season to minimize exposure to Covid-19. In Callahan’s case, his season with the Providence College Friars was limited to 25 games, and they only played Hockey East teams.
For the second straight season, Callahan served as a captain for Providence College. Considering he was first handed a letter as a sophomore, it is great to see him get the opportunity to lead his team at an early age.
When looking at his stats, you see Callahan took a step back, albeit a relatively minor one. In 25 games, he had three goals and 11 assists, compared to his five goals and 23 assists in 34 games the prior season. He also finished as a -3, his first minus season in college.
Callahan still managed to beat his freshman numbers despite playing in almost half as many games despite regressing on the stats sheet. A player’s development isn’t a straight line, and it is normal to see a player have a bad season or just a season where they didn’t improve as much as you would hope.
Callahan will be heading back to the NCAA next season for what will likely be his final season with Providence College. As an NCAA player, he isn’t signed by the Coyotes, and the GM that drafted him is no longer with the organization.
But Callahan is young, skilled, and has leadership experience, traits that the Coyotes will be looking for in the upcoming rebuild. Given the Coyotes’ defensive core was blown up almost entirely this past offseason, there will be plenty of opportunity for a defenseman like Callahan, either with the Tucson Roadrunners or with the Arizona Coyotes.