‘Yotes Notes: Coyotes’ system chock full of goalies
GLENDALE, Ariz. – With the selection of Ivan Prosvetov (fourth round) and David Tendeck (sixth round) in the NHL Draft last weekend in Dallas, the Coyotes have a glut of goalies in their system.
“That’s a good problem to have,” Coyotes goalie coach Corey Schwab said. “They have a way of sorting themselves out. There are different projections and you can ‘this guy might get to this point,’ but the important thing is to make certain they’re in a position where they are going to get to play.”
It’s too early to say how things will shake out, but here are some possibilities and certainties. Adin Hill and Hunter Miska are likely to battle again for the top spot with the Tucson Roadrunners (AHL). Merrick Madsen could challenge that tandem, with the odd-man out likely ending up in the ECHL.
Tendeck will remain with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League while Prosvetov hopes to be drafted in the upcoming CHL draft and play in Canada, rather than return to Russia. Marek Langhamer is expected to remain with Kometa Brno of the Czech Extraliga and Erik Kallgren is expected to return to Sweden and play with AIK.
“As we’re set up, there’s going to be a place for everybody to play,” Schwab said. “Where they all end up landing throughout the year or next year, we’ll see. It’s not always the top guy that ends up making it or having the longest career.”
NEW GOALIE COACH
The Coyotes hired Zac Bierk as their new goaltender development coach to replace Jon Elkin, whose contract was not renewed. Bierk was in the Coyotes organization from 2001-2004 and played 20 games with the NHL club. He was also teammates with Schwab with the Cleveland Lumberjacks (Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate) in the 1998-99 season.
Bierk will be charged mainly with working with the Coyotes minor league prospects in Tucson, Hill and Miska, while keeping an eye on Madsen, Langhamer, Kallgren, Prosvetov and Tendeck.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Bierk, who had been working as the goaltending coach for the Oshawa Generals of the OHL. “This was something I always hoped to achieve so to have it happen with the Coyotes is even more special. I’ve been actively trying to get back to the NHL and the goalie development role is one that really interested me.”
NEW ECHL AFFILIATE
The Coyotes announced a new, one-year ECHL affiliation with the Norfolk Admirals of the ECHL, ending their affiliation with the Fort Wayne Komets.
“We’ve got a lot of D coming and number of goalies,” general manager John Chayka said. “At some point, we’re going to have to put really good players down in the east coast. It’s a good league. There’s been a lot of players that have played in the east coast that have come and played in the NHL.
“It was just making sure we had the right partner to partner with in growing our players. They have the right facilities and the right mindset for development that aligns with us. Ultimately, I think that was the [reason for the] decision.”
SUN DEVIL IN CAMP
ASU sophomore defenseman Brinson Pasichnuk is among the players in attendance at Coyotes development camp. ASU coach Greg Powers said Coyotes assistant GM Steve Sullivan called him about Pasichnuk in March because the Coyotes had interest in him.
“The Coyotes were actually my first choice. I’ve always wanted to come to their development camp,” Pasichnuk said. “It would be huge, especially for our program, a local kid going to the Coyotes. I’m honored. I’m just excited to see what comes out of it.”
— The Coyotes acquire defenseman Robbie Russo from Detroit on Sunday in exchange for a 2019 conditional seventh-round draft choice. GM John Chayka said the pick is conditional on Russo, a right-handed defenseman, playing 30 games with the Coyotes this season.
— Twins Kelly and Kevin Klima, 21, are participating in development camp. They are the sons of former NHL player Petr Klima, who had 313 goals and 573 points in 786 NHL games from 1985-99.
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