ESPN ranks Arizona Coyotes prospect system very highly among NHL teams

Aug 11, 2015, 2:41 PM | Updated: 2:48 pm
Canada’s Max Domi celebrates after scoring the fifth goal against the United during the third...
Canada's Max Domi celebrates after scoring the fifth goal against the United during the third period of a round-robin game at the world junior ice hockey championship Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014, in Montreal. Canada won 5-3. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)
(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)

There is much to be excited about if you are a hockey fan in the state of Arizona, for multiple reasons.

You have Arizona State University going Division I for hockey, a huge milestone considering there are very few Division I hockey programs west of the Mississippi River.

Also there is Auston Matthews, a Scottsdale kid that is being projected as the first overall pick in next year’s NHL Draft.

And according to this story from Chris Peters of CBS Sports, USA Hockey membership rose from 4,860 to 7,329 in just a year. That is the fastest growth among any state in terms of playing membership last season.

The best part of all this hockey excitement is that could all just be an appetizer for what is to come with the Arizona Coyotes.

Yes, the team suffered through a tough injury-plagued 2014-15 season, but the past pains have set the franchise up nicely for plenty of future long-term gains.

On Tuesday, ESPN.com’s Corey Pronman ranked every team by prospect strength and said the Coyotes have the fourth-best group of prospects in the NHL.

The Coyotes have long been an organization known for its emphasis on defense and goaltending, but the Coyotes have built a truly elite foundation of young forwards coming up the pipeline. Dylan Strome, Max Domi, Anthony Duclair, Brendan Perlini, Nick Merkley, and Christian Dvorak, among others, give the Coyotes a ton of projected firepower. Today, the team is known as a boring, trap-and-defend-style club. In five years, the Coyotes could be a run-and-gun team.

It’s fair to note that Pronman only put the Edmonton Oilers atop the list because of projected superstar Connor McDavid. Had the team not taken him in this year’s draft, the Coyotes would be higher on the list.

A five-year plan is something fans won’t have to fret about because the young and talented prospect core will begin to make their mark in Glendale this season, highlighted by 2013 first round pick Max Domi and Anthony Duclair.

Domi, the son of former NHL player Tie Domi, posted 102 points in 57 games last year with the London Knights in the OHL.

The 20-year-old has scored 32 goals or more in each of his past three seasons with London and earned captaincy with his team last year. He is offensively-gifted with tremendous puck handling skills and has the scoring instincts of an elite player.

Duclair is expected to be a player of the same offensive caliber.

The former New York Rangers prospect was traded to the Coyotes as part of the Keith Yandle deal at this past trade deadline. The 19-year-old surprisingly made the Rangers out of training camp last season before being sent down to play in juniors with the Quebec Remparts after a few games.

A very bright future is just around the corner for the Coyotes, and it may arrive sooner than people expect.

 

 

Penguin Air

Arizona Coyotes

Fans watch as the Arizona Coyotes warm up before the NHL game against the Nashville Predators at Gi...
Character Counts

Arizona Coyotes Foundation’s 2022-23 grant cycle to open July 1

The Arizona Coyotes Foundation announced that the 2022-23 grant cycle will open from July 1 and run through Aug. 1.
5 days ago
National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly announces the Arizona Coyotes #3 overall draft...
Arizona Sports

Here’s where the Arizona Coyotes pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft

The 2022 NHL Entry Draft is set to be a big one for the Coyotes, having seven selections in the draft's top 45 picks.
5 days ago
Logan Cooley speaks at the Top Prospects Media Availability at the NHL Scouting Combine at HarborCe...
Sam Graveline

Coyotes nab F Logan Cooley in Bleacher Report’s latest NHL mock draft

Bleacher Report's Lyle Richardson has the Coyotes taking American center Logan Cooley with the No. 3 overall pick in his latest mock draft.
7 days ago
President, CEO & Alternate Governor Xavier A. Gutierrez (Photo by Kelsey Grant/NHLI via Getty I...
Arizona Sports

Coyotes hope to agree with Tempe on arena plan by end of year

Arizona Coyotes CEO and president Xavier Gutierrez said an ideal timeline to get an agreement on a new arena would be by the end of 2022.
11 days ago
(Twitter Photo/@NHL_On_TNT)...
Jake Anderson

Paul Bissonnette gets new haircut after losing bet on Stanley Cup Playoffs

Former Coyotes player and current analyst Paul Bissonnette paid up after losing a Stanley Cup Playoffs bet with an interesting haircut.
18 days ago
Shane Doan walks out onto the ice during a pregame ceremony in his honor and to retire his jersey a...
Arizona Sports

Shane Doan: Work now begins for Coyotes in next phase of arena plans

Arizona Coyotes chief hockey development officer Shane Doan discussed the city council vote going in favor of the Coyotes.
22 days ago
ESPN ranks Arizona Coyotes prospect system very highly among NHL teams