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Arizona Coyotes announce 2020-21 opening night roster, taxi squad

Arizona Coyotes' Clayton Keller (9) celebrates with teammates Jason Demers (55) and Oliver Ekman-Larsson (23) after scoring an empty-net goal during the third period of the team's NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, in Newark, N.J. The Coyotes won 5-3. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday announced their 23-man roster and a six-player taxi squad for their opening night game against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.

The taxi squads were implemented as the NHL attempts to begin its season in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic that continues to trend negatively in the United States.

Players on taxi squads can be put on the active roster as late as 5 p.m. ET on a game day, giving clubs a better chance of having four lines, three defensive pairings and two goaltenders even if rosters take a hit because of COVID-19 protocols. Teams must have three goaltenders available among the 29 players.

The Coyotes said defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin will eventually be added to the roster, but he has been away from the team due to visa issues. Once those are resolved, he must first complete a quarantine period before joining Arizona.

Arizona Coyotes 23-man roster

4 – Niklas Hjalmarsson, defenseman
6 – Jakob Chychrun, defenseman
8 – Nick Schmaltz, center
9 – Clayton Keller, left wing
15 – John Hayden, right wing
16 – Derick Brassard, center
17 – Tyler Pitlick, Right wing
18 – Christian Dvorak, center
22 – Johan Larsson, center
23 – Oliver Ekman-Larsson, defenseman
29 – Barrett Hayton, center
31 – Adin Hill, goaltender
32 – Antti Raanta, goaltender
33 – Alex Goligoski, defenseman
35 – Darcy Kuemper, goaltender
36 – Christian Fischer, right wing
55 – Jason Demers, defenseman
67 – Lawson Crouse, left wing
75 – Kyle Capobianco, defenseman
81 – Phil Kessel, right wing
82 – Jordan Oesterle, defenseman
83 – Conor Garland, right wing
91 – Drake Caggiula, center

Coyotes taxi squad

24 – Hudson Fasching, right wing
26 – Michael Chaput, center
28 – Dryden Hunt, left wing
34 – Frederik Gauthier, center
77 – Victor Soderstrom, defenseman
79 – Jordan Gross, defenseman

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