GLENDALE -- Forward Scott Arnold will join the Coyotes on Monday as they continue to scratch and claw their way toward a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He will provide depth at the forward position, if needed, at a crucial time in the regular season.
"Playing for an NHL team has always been my dream and the dream of every kid who grows up playing hockey," Arnold told me on Friday. "When I got the opportunity to join the Coyotes I felt it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. Hockey is my passion, and I'm really looking forward to joining the team."
Arnold, who recently finished his sophomore season at Niagara University, signed an entry-level contract with the Coyotes on Friday. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound native of Pointe-Claire, Quebec, notched 26 goals and 14 assists in 67 games at Niagara.
"Scott is a guy that is a little different than some of the young players we have in our system right now," Coyotes Assistant General Manager Brad Treliving said. "We wanted to add a little bit of size and competitiveness to our forward mix and he brings that. If you look at his stat line, it's probably not one that jumps out at you in terms of goals and assists, but teams need different types of players to win."
After spending the next few days with his parents in the Toronto area, Arnold, 21, will fly to Phoenix on Sunday and then report to the team on Monday morning. He is expected to practice with the Coyotes for the first time on Tuesday. He will wear sweater No. 38.
Arnold is very eager to show Head Coach Dave Tippett and his staff what he can bring to the team.
"I play the game as a power forward," Arnold said. "I'm not afraid to go down in the corners and battle for the puck, and I definitely like to use my size and speed to my advantage and get pucks on net and create opportunities off that."
He added, "I think I'm a great fit for the Coyotes because of the type of player that I am."
Arnold doesn't battle hard solely against opposing defensemen. Last summer he faced a much more serious challenge when he was diagnosed with/treated for testicular cancer. Early detection, a concept he now helps promote, played a key role in his successful fight.
"It was a pretty scary situation but we caught it early enough and it didn't spread," said Arnold, who played in 33 of Niagara's 37 games last season, including the season opener just a few months after his treatment.
Arnold has never been to Phoenix or Glendale, but he has spent a few Christmases at the home his maternal grandparents rent in nearby Lake Havasu.
"I'm really excited to get to Phoenix," Arnold said. "This is all so surreal right now, but it's extremely exciting for me and I hope I can contribute to the team."
Treliving likes Arnold's potential.
"There's still a lot of growth in his game, but he's a big, strong, right-handed shot who can play either wing and who skates well," Treliving said. "He's a physical player who is hard to play against. He can be a dynamic hitter because he likes to be physical and he's good at it."
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