General Manager Bill Armstrong had a plan for the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. He had three second-round picks, which gave him plenty of flexibility. And with that flexibility, Bill Armstrong decided to go a bit off-board and draft overagers, including defenseman JJ Moser.
Games Played: 43
TOI/Games Played: 18:42
PP TOI: 52:11
PK TOI: 66:18
JJ Moser was 21 years old when he was drafted, and because he developed in Europe, he was eligible to head straight to the Tucson Roadrunners. Moser took to North American hockey well, and in 18 games, he had five goals and seven assists.
Ideally, Moser would have spent the entire season with the Tucson Roadrunners adapting his game to North America. But that didn’t happen because the injury bug badly bit the Arizona Coyotes.
It didn’t take long for Moser to make an impact in the NHL. On December 28th, his third NHL, he scored two goals. Moser showed tremendous confidence during that game, and it would be the first of two multi-point games for the young defenseman.
Moser’s offense eventually started to slip, and as the season went on, he did look a bit out of place at times. Unfortunately, rather than getting sent down to Tucson to give him a chance to reset, he had to stay with the team to fill in the diminished blue line.
Moser played on both the power play and the penalty kill, but he was rarely the first person for either unit. However, he did finish third among defensemen for power play time, which could go up if the Coyotes decide to trade Jakob Chychrun before the start of next season.
Moser finished strong with a goal and an assist in his last four games. He played significant minutes in the game, and in his final seven games, he played over 20 minutes per game.
After a successful NHL rookie season, Moser took his talents to the international stage, playing for Switzerland in the World Championship. He finished with a goal and three assists in eight games but unfortunately walked away without a medal.
JJ Moser made the jump early, but it seems unlikely he will return to the AHL next season. But like Dysin Mayo, Moser’s role is going to depend on who Bill Armstrong brings in for the Coyotes’ blue line.
Moser is a solid defenseman with an offensive flair that a team like the Coyotes desperately needs. He came in with little to no buzz before the start of the season, and in just a season, he has become a player to watch going into next season.