If you were in the Arizona Coyotes organization last season, there was a decent chance that you would get a shot at making your NHL debut. Multiple players made their NHL debut with the Desert Dogs last season thanks to the rebuild and injuries, including 26-year-old forward Michael Carcone.
Games Played: 21
TOI/Games Played: 12:19
PP TOI: 5:53
PK TOI: 0:08
Carcone had an exciting path to the NHL. After going undrafted, Carcone signed an ELC with the Vancouver Canucks on July 16th, 2016, and joined their AHL affiliate, the Utica Comets. Vancouver would eventually ship Carcone off to the Toronto Maples Leafs during his third season, and he would finish the year with the Toronto Marlies.
Instead of re-signing the young forward, Toronto would flip him to the Ottawa Senators, and he would spend the pandemic-shortened season with the Belleville Senators. Then, he would be traded for the third time, this time going to the Nashville Predators, who loaned him to the Tucson Roadrunners due to their AHL affiliate being on hiatus.
Finally, after recording 15 goals and ten assists with the Roadrunners in 35 games, Carcone signed a two-year, two-way deal with the Arizona Coyotes on July 29th, 2021.
Carcone was one of the Roadrunners’ stand-out players last season and made his NHL debut on December 28th against the San Jose Sharks. Unfortunately, he would be held pointless in that game and ultimately reassigned back to the Roadrunners without getting another shot.
But as the season progressed, the Coyotes would call on him again. On March 14th, he had a chance to play against one of the teams that traded him, the Ottawa Senators. Eleven days later, he would register his first goal against the Calgary Flames.
Carcone would finish his season with the Coyotes, playing in 21 games with the Desert Dogs and registering four goals and two assists. He played a somewhat limited role but got a chance at more ice time as the season ended.
It is fair to say that Carcone is a good hockey player. He puts up good numbers in the AHL and has improved as he gets older. But that next step is a big one, and while it remains to be seen if Carcone can make it as a full-time NHL player, he had a solid start with the Coyotes.
Carcone has one year left on a deal that will see him make $750,000 in the NHL or $150,000 in the AHL. Even though he was with the team at the end of last season, there is still a chance he will start the season with the Roadrunners.
If Carcone is with the Roadrunners to start next season, he will likely be one of the Coyotes’ first call-ups if someone is injured or traded. Either way, if Carcone makes it to the NHL, he needs to show that he belongs there and not give Bill Armstrong or André Tourigny any reason to send him back to the AHL.