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Coyotes’ prospect pool still middle of the pack led by Hayton, Soderstrom

The Arizona Coyotes 2018 and 2019 first-round draft picks Barrett Hayton (left) and Victor Soderstrom (right) anchor the Coyotes farm system. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)(Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)

Dealing away one of its top prospects in order to acquire Phil Kessel this offseason didn’t seem to adversely effect the overall prospect pool of the Arizona Coyotes too much.

According to a recent ranking by The Athletic, the Coyotes farm system dropped from No. 15 in 2018 to No. 17 in 2019.

Although the Coyotes dealt 2017 first-round pick Pierre-Oliver Joseph to Pittsburgh to land Kessel, their two most recent first-round draft picks made up the bulk of the top-end talent.

Barrett Hayton and Victor Soderstrom were ranked as the to top two prospects in the Coyotes system, respectively.

Hayton could make his NHL debut this upcoming season for Arizona. He scored 66 points in just 39 games with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) last season and also recorded four assists in five games for Canada in the World Junior Championships.

The former No. 5 overall pick started the 2018 season with the Coyotes but was scratched for the first two games and sent back to the Greyhounds.

Soderstrom was selected No. 11 by the Coyotes in 2019 and has spent the last two seasons with Brynas of the Swedish Hockey League. In 30 games for the Brynas junior team, the defenseman scored 14 points with four goals and 10 assists.

Last season, he was called up to the professional team and scored seven points in 44 games as a 17-year-old.

Defenseman Kevin Bahl, defenseman Kyle Capobianco and winger Nick Merkley round out the top-five prospects for the Coyotes. Capobianco and Merkley could press to start the season with the NHL club if things go their way, while the 6-foot-6, 229 pound Bahl played for the Ottawa 67’s of the OHL last season.

Out of the 28 prospects listed, seven played for the Tucson Roadrunners, including Capobianco and Merkley.

The site also ranked the top 10 players in the Coyotes organization aged 23 or under. NHL regulars Clayton Keller, Nick Schmaltz, Jakob Chychrun and Christian Dvorak were the headliners of the group listed below:

1. LW Clayton Keller (21)

2. C Barrett Hayton (19)

3. C Nick Schmaltz (23)

4. D Jakob Chychrun (21)

5. C Christian Dvorak (23)

6. D Victor Soderstrom (18)

7. D Kevin Bahl (19)

8. D Kyle Capobianco (22)

9. RW Conor Garland (23)

10. LW Lawson Crouse (22)

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