It's official. Hobey Baker award winner and Coyotes top prospect Andy Miele is going to be a part of the roster for a while. With Kyle Turris still a contractual hold-out, the Coyotes had a choice between Petteri Nokelainen and Miele. Nokelainen was dealt to the Canadiens, so it's obvious the team is banking on Miele to come through.
In his NHL debut Sunday night, Miele played on the third line between Raffi Torres and Patrick O'Sullivan. I'm not going to say that I was tremendously confident with Miele going into Anaheim, but I figured he could keep his own. After all, the Ducks third and fourth line are not that experienced.
Here is a breakdown of Miele's ice time on Sunday and some significant things I noticed.
|1||3:14||Lifted a stick to halt a scoring chance, created a turnover after a power play to keep puck in the zone.|
|2||1:25||Impressive speed carrying puck into attacking zone. Smart defensive play -- getting deep to gain possession.|
|3||1:42||Took dumb hooking penalty. Made up for it with save on the goal line. Likes to skate directly at D-men holding blue line. Will create penalties.|
While Sunday was obviously a feeler game for Dave Tippett, it seems like Miele will be held on the third line behind Martin Hanzal and Daymond Langkow, but that could change with an injury. His speed and skill on the puck are NHL-caliber and his size is not an issue. He's not a checking-line center, but could fit nicely there as a turnover threat.
I wouldn't expect Miele to garner a ton of playing time, but he can certainly earn it on a Coyotes lineup that has struggled with offense this season. I'm excited to see what he can do for the Coyotes this season.
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