The Arizona Coyotes prospect pool has never looked better, and the team is starting to reap the rewards from their recent draft classes. Anthony Duclair and Max Domi looked great on the same line while playing for Canada in the 2015 World Junior Championships, and that chemistry has already resurfaced in Arizona.
With the deadline trades of Zbynek Michalek, Antoine Vermette, and Keith Yandle, the prospect pool appears even deeper than where it was just one year ago. While a number of the Coyotes top prospects will appear in the NHL this year, there are a number of young, intriguing prospects that will embark on their first professional season with the Coyotes’ new AHL affiliate in Springfield.
A year removed from finishing last in the AHL with just 61 points, the Portland Pirates, primary affiliate for the Arizona Coyotes, have shown respectable improvements this season. Through 35 games, the Pirates are 19-15-1, scoring 87 goals and allowing 82, having won their last four games.
The Arizona Coyotes have actively addressed the composition of their prospect pool since the 2013-14 trade deadline. A year ago, there was a logjam of talented defensemen throughout their pipeline. At the deadline, general manager Dave Maloney traded David Rundblad to the Chicago Blackhawks. At the 2014 NHL Draft, the Coyotes grabbed seven forwards while only selecting two defensemen, both in the late rounds.
A revamped Coyotes prospect pool suddenly boasts a plethora of two-way forwards who can generate offense off the forecheck. Until this offseason, the Arizona Coyotes prospect pool has been overstocked by promising young defensemen threatening to die on the vine. However, since the 2013-14 trade deadline, general manager Don Maloney has methodically balanced the prospect pool.