For the second straight year, TSN’s Director of Scouting Craig Button has an Arizona Coyotes prospect in the top three of his best NHL-affiliated prospects and this year it’s two.
After Max Domi was No. 1 on the 2015 list, centers Dylan Strome and Christian Dvorak came in at No. 2 and No. 3 on the 2016 list, respectively.
The No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, Strome is back playing with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for the third straight season. The 18-year-old has 76 points in 38 games this season, looking to follow up his league-leading 129 points in the 2014-15 season.
Following an ACL injury that kept him out of the rest of the 2013-14 season, Dvorak was selected 58th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft by the Coyotes and is making teams regret not picking him.
Dvorak has spent the two years since being drafted with the London Knights of the OHL and has shined. The 20-year-old had 109 points in the 2014-15 season and this season has 90 points in 42 games, which puts him on pace to lead the league like Strome did the year before.
The Coyotes also have three more players on the list. 2015 fifth-round pick right winger Conor Garland is No. 22 and is enjoying his best success to date in his fourth year playing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). The 19-year-old has 107 points in 48 games, leading the league by a ridiculous 29-point margin, and should win his second straight league MVP award.
2015 second-round selection right winger Christian Fischer is No. 44 and 2014 second-round pick center Ryan Macinnis is No. 47. After spending time in the United States Hockey League (USHL), Fischer is playing his first season in the OHL and has 64 points in 49 games. In his third straight season in the OHL, Macinnis has 61 points in 43 games.
The two players drafted ahead of Strome in 2015 started in the NHL right away. The No. 1 selection, Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers, has 19 points in 18 games after recently returning from a major collarbone injury. No. 2 pick Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres has 36 points in 54 games, placing him third in the points leaderboard for rookies.
Toronto Maple Leafs 2014 first-round pick William Nylander is No. 1.