The Arizona Coyotes had to deal with a lot of injuries last season. Their blue line saw Jakob Chychrun sidelined twice and the newly acquired Connor Timmins forced to sit most of the season. But that provided an opportunity for players who had spent most of their professional career in the AHL to show what they could do, including the 24-year-old Cam Dineen.
Games Played: 34
TOI/Games Played: 15:38
PP TOI: 8:03
PK TOI: 36:31
Dineen has been with the Coyotes since being drafted in the third round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, 68th overall. After two more seasons in the OHL with the North Bay Battalion, where he wore an “A” for his final season, and a brief stint with the Sarnia Sting, Dineen found his way onto the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate, the Tucson Roadrunners.
The Roadrunners have had some solid defensemen for the past few seasons, so Dineen was never the star player, but he did prove to be a solid supporting piece. In five seasons in the AHL, he played in 157 games and registered 14 goals and 41 assists.
But with the previously mentioned injuries, Dineen spent most of last season with the Coyotes. After making his NHL debut, Dineen would play 34 games with the Desert Dogs and finish with seven assists.
Dineen spent most of his time with the Coyotes playing 5-on-5, with a bit of penalty kill time thrown in. He wasn’t the coaching staff’s first choice, which isn’t a great sign for a 24-year-old.
Unfortunately, while last season provided a big opportunity for Dineen, it feels like he could have done more. The Coyotes had a lot of players make their NHL debut last season, and it seems like players like J.J. Moser, Dysin Mayo, and Vladislav Kolyachonok surpassed him.
On July 11th, Arizona re-signed Dineen to a one-year, $750,000 deal that will see him make $150,000 in the AHL with the Roadrunners. Dineen will need to clear waivers if the Coyotes send him to Tucson.
The Coyotes’ blue line has a lot of question marks, making it difficult to predict what Dineen’s career path will be. He is older than players like Moser and Kolyachonok, not to mention Victor Söderström, who will hopefully be a full-time NHL player in the coming years.
The next season is going to be big for Dineen. Dysin Mayo and Jakob Chychrun are the only players signed for three years, so there is space for Dineen if he can earn a spot. But if he can’t, it may be a sign that he plays for another team next season.