This is a big offseason for the Coyotes as they decide who they bring back, who they sign, what rookies they bring up ect.
The Coyotes get the third overall pick, with Reinhart and Bennett gone before them the Coyotes picked up Jake Virtanen as he is a big strong player that the Coyotes think will become a huge success for the Coyotes in the future with presence in front of the net, hoping to be a PaHornquivt type of player.
The Coyotes did not have their 2nd round pick this year but we were able to work around that as we got young 18 year old sniper/playmaker Nikolaj Ehlers (who was able to get a 24-50-74 in 65 games on the Mooseheads in the QMJHL) in the 3rd. In the Coyote organization we see Ehlers turning into a nice 2nd or 3rd liner who will put up 15-20 goals and 50 points a season. The one downside to Ehlers is his size, he only stands at 5'11” and only weighs in at 164.
The Coyotes fourth round pick was Goaltender Andrej Kosaristan a twenty year old goaltender playing in the EXL. The Coyotes hope that Andrej will become a NHL backup goaltender to Visentin after Mike Smith contract runs out and his time as a NHL starter is over (his contract is 6M/5year deal which will take him to 37, which is something that the Coyotes are going to have to think about in the future if he starts to decline in production.
The Coyotes fifth round pick was Ayrton Nikkel the defensemen of the Saskatoon Blades. Ayrton is one of the more talented players at the moment in the squad of draftees boasting a 6.0a overall already. Although Ayrton will most likely be starting the year on the AHL team and doesn’t look like he will ever be more then a NHL injury call up as he only has potential of 6.5a.
The Coyotes sixth round pick is smaller Centre Alex Forsberg who currently plays for the Prince George Cougars in the in the WHL where he got 28-25-53 in 63 games played. The Coyotes are going to let Alex spend one more year in the WHL playing for Prince George to see if he improves at all as he has many skills where he lacks. If he doesn’t improve much in his last year of minor league hockey he can see a future of AHL hockey with the possibility to be called up in injury duty.
In the seventh round the Coyotes have two back to back picks which they use on RD Andreas Radin who is playing over in the SA league who was able to go 5-15-20 in 35 games. Like most of the late picks in the draft Radin wont be sees as much in the way of becoming an NHL player but if he does improve he may be able to get into the bottom six defensemen on some NHL team.
The second seventh round pick is RW Henrik Nyberg who plays on the Kelowna Rockets who went 15-16-31 in 55 GP. Henrik will be much like Alex Forsberg in he will most likely become a career AHL player who may have the chance to coming up to the NHL if he gets better and injury happens in the NHL team.
Louis Domingue (6.0a/6.0a) Playing last year on the Coyotes ECHL team Gwinnett Gladiators Louis is most likely going to be my AHL starting goaltender this year with his decent Goalie ratings. I don’t see Louis Domingue ever being an NHL goaltender but he should be a good AHL goaltender to put in our system.
Mike Lee (5.5a/6.0a) Mike Lee spend last year as the starting goaltender on our AHL team but will most likely be the backup for Louis on the AHL team. I would be shocked if Mike really ever gets above 5.5 or 6 so I do not see him getting to an NHL level anytime soon.
Mike Smith (8.0a/8.0a) Mike smith, who played 58 games last season before the Coyotes decided to try and tank the year, will be at the helm again this year. The Coyotes are looking for a bounce back year as Mike did finish the season with a 2.73 GAA and .913 Save% which are quite higher then his career averages.
Mark Visentin (6.0a/6.5a) Mark Visentin who played ten games last year for Arizona and finished with a 3.19 GAA and .897 Save% will be backing up Smith this year on the Coyotes. The Coyotes are hoping for Mark to get higher then his 6.5 potential as they are hoping he is the net minder of the future for the team after Mike Smith retires/cant play starting goaltender anymore.
Oliver Ekman Larsson (8.5a/8.5a) after a decent season 8-38-46 in 82 games last year OEL has very likely taken over the top defensemen role on the Coyotes team. He is considered a great player for any team in the league and with being under contract for another 5 years at 4M a year the Coyotes will get great work out of the 22 year old defender.
Brandon Gornley (6.5a/7.5a) another young defensemen for the Coyotes Brandon put up 29 PTS in 61 GP for the Pirates last year and will most likely be taking over the 3rd line spot on the Coyotes depending on if the Coyotes can open up some playing space with a trade of David Schlemko.
David Schlemko (6.5a/6.5a) Last year David Schlemko slightly under performed for the Coyotes only getting 19 points in the 77 games he played. The Coyotes will be openly shipping Schlemko for some future picks/prospects.
Keith Yandle (A) (8.0a/8.0a) A great Assistant captain for the Coyotes who did finish last season a little bit lower then expected with only 28 points in 82 games. The Coyotes are going to be using Keith and OEL together this year much more then in the past and hopefully the two will be able to both be able to put up 40 point seasons.
Rostislav Klesla (6.0a/6.0a) Klesla is a very underutilized player on the Coyotes making 2.975M this year and next while only getting 5 games last season. The Coyotes are also going to be shipping Klesla on the market this year for picks/prospects as they have the talent in the defensive end of the team.
Mark Louis (5.5a/6.0a) Mark Louis will again be playing for the Pirates this year as he did last. Louis is someone who is a complete AHL player who probably wont ever see NHL time at all.
James Melindy (5.5a/6.5a) 20 year old James is someone who could possibly come up to the NHL at some time but is highly unlikely if he doesn’t progress to his expected or exceed potential. The Coyotes will be playing James on the Pirates again this year and are hoping for a better year then last.
Zbynek Michalek (7.0a/7.0a) A good prime player for the Coyotes Michalek will see most of his time on the second defensive pairing and PK. Michalek had a little bit of a small insurgence of his career last year with 20 points in a full season. The Coyotes are hoping that Michalek gets a few more points this year and gets his +/- under control this year.
Connor Murphy (6.5a/7.5a) The young man player for the Coyotes are another young player that may be able to play up on the Coyotes main team of be a player to come up in case of injury and have one more year in the AHL.
David Rundblad (6.5a/7.5a) Another young defensemen that was highly underutilized by the Coyotes last year but finished with 23 points in the 35 games played will most likely be getting more time this year for the Coyotes in what will be his first full season. The Coyotes are hoping for a huge bump this year in Rundblad's game that will send him over the top.
Michael Stone (7.5a/7.5a) one last young defensemen for the Coyotes who had a good full season of play for 23 point in 82 games. Michael saw time on the PP and that helped him develop the way that he did this year. The Coyotes will again look to keep Michael on their top 6 and hope for another productive year for the young NHLer
Mikkel Boedker (7.5a/7.5a) Mikkel, even though he had some injuries was a good player for the Coyotes last year getting 43 points in 71 games. However I would have liked to see Boedker net more then 13 goals his season was respectable and showed a great improvement form his last full season where he only got 24 points in 82 games. Boedker will most likely see himself on the 2nd line this year for the Coyotes.
Nikolaj Ehlers (5.5a/7.5a) Young draftee Nikolaj Ehlers who recently signed 920K/3YR deal with the Coyotes will most likely start the season in the AHL but if he promises and develops like he can will more likely see himself in the NHL as a great third round pick!
Rob Klinkhammer (6.5a/6.5a) Klinkhammer was a great shinning point for the Coyotes last season getting a full 74 games and able to get 32 points for the Coyotes (8th in points for the Coyotes). Klinkhammer is in the final year of his contract with the Coyotes and his play this season can seal his future with the Coyotes or not.
Lauri Korpikoski (6.5a/7.0a) Korpikoski is another player that they Coyotes need to make a decision about over the season. He is about to enter his prime at 27 years of age and does have a decent 2.5M/3YR deal with the Coyotes and does have some room for growth but it is something that has to be seen. Korpikoski is coming off of a decent season getting 39 points in 76 games which is one of the best seasons of his careers.
Lucas Lessio (6.5a/7.0a) Lessio played his first full NHL season last year and was less then sensational for the Coyotes only getting 14 points in 74 games. Lessio still has 2 years on his contracts and the Coyotes are hoping that he grows into the player that they expected when he was drafted in 2011.
Brandon McMillan (6.0a/6.5a) McMillan is in his 7th season and looking to get back into the NHL after being sent down to the AHL last season. Most likely McMillan will see himself back down into the AHL to start the season this year, but could play himself into the NHL if he plays well in the AHL again this season.
Jake Virtanen (6.5a/8.5a) This years third overall draft pick will most likely see himself in the AHL for the start of the year but most likely will be in the NHL sometime soon. At only the age of 17 the Coyotes think a season or two of playing down in the lower league could really see his play develop.
Chris Brown (6.0a/6.5a) Brown was a decent player for the Pirates last year and will see himself back down in the AHL to start the year for the Coyotes. Not much to say about Brown as he is most likely going to be an AHLer for life unless he can grow way beyond what he is projected.
Kyle Chipchura (6.5a/6.5a) Kyle is the type of player that works amazingly well on the 4th line for the Coyotes, a position he played last year where he was able to get 20 points. The centre depth did get much better this year with the addition of Max Domi to the Coyotes and Kyle could see himself starting the season in the AHL or on the trade list as the Coyotes may not have a huge amount of need for him.
Max Domi (7.0a/7.5a) Coming off of a great season in the OHL this 19 year old is looking to make waves with the Coyotes this season and to take advantage of the chances he is given. Most likely Domi will be seeing third line time behind Ribeiro and Hanzal but he is planning on making the most out of it and shooting the Coyotes what he is made out of.
Martin Hanzal (7.5a/7.5a) After spending most of last year on the Trade List (TL) Hanzal turned around his season and showed the Coyotes why he should be on this team getting 55 points in 82 games and netting 25 goals. Hanzal is in the running to be on the first line centre and will be battling it out with Ribeiro for the position.
Jordan Marinook (6.0a/6.5a) Marinook is more of an AHL defensive centre then anything. He most likely wont see the NHL this season but if he can continue to grown and shows improvements the Coyotes may want to watch out for this young kid as a guy to take over for the likes of Chipchura or Vermette.
Mike Riberio (7.5a/7.5a) Mike was a shinning light for the Coyotes most of last season and if it wasn’t for the mixup at the end of the year which saw him on the fourth line for a majority of the end of the year could have finished the season with way more then 58 points. Riberio is expected to be the first line centre this season but no lines have been set just yet.
Henrik Samuelsson (6.5a/7.5a) A big strong young centre Samuelsson is most likely going to be in the AHL this season but will be a great replacement if anything comes along the way of a trade of Vermette or Chipchura.
Brendan Shinnimin (6.0a/6.0a) An AHLer for life Shinnimin puts up pretty good numbers for a guy in the AHL but just doesn’t have the skill to make it as a professional NHLer centre.
Antoine Vermette (6.5a/6.5a) Vermette will be looking to reproduce the season he had last year where he got 29 points. This is his last season of his 3.75M contract and with young players like Samuelsson ready to take over his place is a great trading asset for the Coyotes this year or at the deadline.
Paul Bissonnette (7.0a/7.0a) After a good year last year for Paul he is looking to reproduce the same results again this year. He still has 2 years left on his deal with the Coyotes but at the end will most likely look at the last two years as a way to get an upgrade in his paydays. Paul is fighting on the Coyotes for the third or fourth line RW.
Shane Doan © (7.0a/7.0a) On the last track of his career Captain Shane Doan is looking to keep his season like he did last year. While he was able to slightly resurge his career late with a 38 point season last year, Doan will most likely be a second or third line winger on the Coyotes. The Coyotes are wanting to see him get his PIM down from last year which was almost double his prior seasons totals.
Phil Lane (5.5a/6.5a) This AHLer is still looking to get into the NHL. After not playing last year he hopes that with time in the AHL and his size he may be able to get onto the Coyotes when the contracts of Doan and Bissonnette end or retire. Phil has a long way to go and the Coyotes expect that he will be a career AHLer.
David Moss (7.0a/7.0a) This 32 year old showed the Coyotes last year that he was the real deal getting 37 points (his 2nd highest total but with a substantial fewer games). He has made his case for a 2nd line bid but his poor conditioning (7) could make him a liability with the amount of minutes he would get going from the 13:15 he got last year to around 16.
Tobias Reider (6.0a/6.5a) Tobias is much in the same boat as Phil Lane only with a little more experience. Many do not see him making it to the NHL anytime soon and his lack of size does make it harder for him to be seen as an enforcer and his offence would have to carry him to the NHL. Many within the Coyote organization see Reider as a career AHLer.
Nail Yakupov (7.5a/8.0a) This Russian sensation will be the biggest signing that the Coyotes need to make this year, as they hope to lock up this 20 year old for many seasons to come and hope for continued success like this past season where Nail split 53 points between the Coyotes and Oilers. The Coyotes expect that Nail will be wanting a lot more then his 925K/YR he is making at the moment to continue his career in Arizona.
GM Wells has continued to show his love for the Edmonton Oilers getting their 3rd round pick in trade for Rostislav Klesla. The Coyotes now have the ability to bring up Connor Murphy, David Rundblad, or Brandon Gornley. Depending on the wishes of GM Wells
The Coyotes have shopped another trade sending 27 year old defence man David Schlemko and 18 year old 5th round pick from this year Ayrton Nikkel in exchange for a 3rd round draft picks from the LA kings in the 2015 and 2016 draft. This trade again opens up another Defence spot for Connor Murphy, David Rundblad, or Brandon Gornley.
The Coyotes have agreed to a contract extension with Russian Nail Yakupov at 3.2M/3YR. The Coyotes have now secured him for another few years and hope to continue to develop this young scoring talent.
The Coyotes have recently signed Forward Rookie Henrik Nyberg (6.0a/6.5a) and Centre Rookie Laurent Dauphin (6.0a/6.5a) both of which are going to be used in the AHL or ECHL as backup injury reserves for the season.
As september rolls around here are the tentative starting lineups for the Arizona Coyotes