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Several Coyotes named to ‘Top 100 NHL players under 25’ list

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The NHL isn’t lacking young talent.

With many of the game’s top superstars currently lighting up the league in their early 20’s — or even younger — to be among the best young players in the game is saying something.

A few Coyotes players fit that description.

The Arizona Coyotes have seen some of their prospects of recent years develop into everyday NHL players, and now several of them were recognized in The Athletic‘s list of the Top 100 NHL players under 25, as put together by Corey Pronman.

The following Coyotes players were on the list:

14. Clayton Keller
42. Alex Galchenyuk
59. Jakob Chychrun
78. Christian Dvorak
96. Christian Fischer
99. Brendan Perlini
Honorable mention: Vinnie Hinostroza

Pronman noted that Dylan Strome was not eligible because he has not played in 25 NHL games in a single season or more than 50 for his career.

Here’s what he said about Keller, the 20-year-old first round pick that finished third in Calder Trophy voting last year:

  1. Clayton Keller, LW, Arizona
    Birthday: July 29, 1998 (20)
    Previous rank: Not eligible

Longtime readers know I’m president of the Clayton Keller fan club (we meet monthly, play board games and have great snacks). He’s a game-breaker, even if he stays on the wing all his career, and was one of the top rookies in the league last season, playing at the top of Arizona’s lineup. He’s got all the tools between his skating, skill and vision to be an impact forward even though he’s not the biggest guy.

Keller was ranked right behind Toronto forward Mitch Marner and just ahead of Nashville forward Filip Forsberg. Some notable names behind Keller on the list: Vancouver’s Brock Boeser, Boston’s Charlie McAvoy and Toronto’s William Nylander.

Next on the ranking was Galchenyuk, for whom the Coyotes traded Max Domi (No. 51) to the Canadiens this offseason.

  1. Alex Galchenyuk, LW, Arizona
    Birthday: Feb. 12, 1994 (24)
    Previous rank: 34

Is Galchenyuk a wing or a center? Is he a big-time scorer or just a rather nice player? I still don’t know the answer to these questions even after Galchenyuk finishes his six seasons in Montreal and begins a new chapter in Arizona. He’s got a fantastic skill level, makes plays and has a good shot. I don’t know if the rest of his offensive game is dynamic, be it his speed or vision. At the end of the day, I think he’ll be a very nice top-six forward, but not a game-breaker.

Pronman was also complimentary of Chychrun’s mobility and intelligence, Dvorak’s reliability, Fischer’s physical gifts and Perlini’s skating ability.

Not surprisingly, Connor McDavid was No. 1 on the list.

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