Arizona Coyotes GM Don Maloney wants to infuse more youth into lineup
Arizona Coyotes rookie Tobias Rieder made an early mark in his NHL career, scoring a goal in his first game.
Defenseman Brandon Gormley was called up from Portland in the AHL and made his season debut in a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs earlier this week.
When it comes to infusing more youth into the lineup, the team’s general manager Don Maloney says there’s more where that came from.
“I think as we go forward here, guys, we’re going to introduce some younger people into our group and see if we can tweak the chemistry to get the right mix of veterans and youth and inexperience,” Maloney told Bickley and Marotta Thursday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
“I think if we erred in anything, it was maybe going into the season with a little bit more of a veteran lineup. That hasn’t worked for us, so now we’re changing gears a little bit and starting to bring more energy into our group.”
The Coyotes, with that veteran-laden lineup, limped out to a 3-6-1 start. With Rieder and Gormley making key contributions in the last two games, the ‘Yotes are have won two straight heading into Friday night’s road game at Anaheim.
Maloney feels Rieder could be with the big club for a while.
“Rieder had an excellent year last year and he’s ready for a real chance to play,” he said. “To (Coach Tippett’s) credit, he’s putting him with good players and given him the chance to show what he can do.
“So far, in the two games, we’ve really been impressed with him. He’s an intelligent player who brings some speed.”
Gormley is another player who will get thrown into the fire of NHL hockey.
“We’re going to keep Brandon with us, we’re going to play him, we’re going to find out what we have with Brandon,” Maloney said. “I think he’s ready to step into the league and play in the league.”
There’s not a shortage of other young, talented players who could see an ascension to the Coyotes soon.
“We’ve got Lucas Lessio from down below,” Maloney said. “Henrik Samuelsson is feeling his way through the American League, getting used to playing against men.”
Lessio, 21, has four goals in two assists in 10 games for the Portland Pirates this season, while the 20-year-old Samuelsson has a goal and four assists.