2009-10: James Melindy skated for the Telus Cup (Canadian AAA midget) national champion Notre Dame Hounds in Saskatchewan and represented Canada Atlantic at the 2010 U17 World Hockey Challenge. He scored 8 goals with 19 assists and had 92 penalty minutes in 41 games and had 2 assists with 14 penalty minutes in 13 playoff games as the Hounds won the SMHL crown. In seven Telus Cup games he scored 3 goals, all on the power play, and had 3 assists with 8 penalty minutes. In five games at the WHC, he was scoreless with 12 penalty minutes for Team Atlantic.
2010-11: Drafted by Moncton in the second round (34th overall) of the 2009 QMJHL Draft, Melindy skated in 40 games for the Wildcats as a rookie. He scored 4 goals with 1 assist and was minus-four with 17 penalty minutes. Moncton finished third in the Maritimes Division. In the five-game first round series with Lewiston, Melindy was an even plus/minus and had no points or penalties.
2011-12: Melindy was the leading scorer among defensemen for Moncton in his second season. In 61 games he scored 9 goals with 18 assists and was minus-seven with 74 penalty minutes. The Wildcats reached the QMJHL playoffs and finished fourth in the Maritimes Division despite a sub-.500 record. In the four game playoff series with Halifax, Melindy had 2 goals with 1 assist and was minus-seven with 12 penalty minutes. Both of his goals were scored on the power play. Melindy was invited to the NHL Draft Combine and ranked 63rd amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2012 NHL Draft.
2012-13: Melindy made his pro hockey debut in April — skating in two games with the AHL’s Portland Pirates — following his third QMJHL season with Moncton. He had no points nor penalty minutes in his stint with the Pirates. In 67 regular season games for Moncton he scored 4 goals with 20 assists and was +13 with 90 penalty minutes. The Wildcats finished second to Memorial Cup champion Halifax in the Maritimes Division and lost to Victoriaville in a first round playoff series. Melindy was -1 with no points and 4 penalty minutes in five playoff games.
2013-14: Melindy skated in 38 games for Phoenix AHL affiliate Portland in his first pro season — missing time early in the year due to a knee injury and struggling to earn minutes with the Pirates. He scored 2 goals and was -29 with 34 penalty minutes. Portland finished last in the Atlantic Division, missing the playoffs.
2014-15: Melindy played nine games for the AHL’s Portland Pirates in his second pro season, spending most of the year with the ECHL’s Gwinnett Gladiators. He was -5 with no points and 6 penalty minutes with the Pirates. Melindy scored 2 goals with 7 assists and was -21 with 69 penalty minutes in 47 ECHL games. The Gladiators finished last in the East Division, winning 20 of 72 games.
Melindy was viewed as a two-way defender with size and skating ability coming out of junior hockey. An injury at the beginning of his first pro season in 2013-14 slowed his development and he has struggled in his first two pro seasons. He is a punishing defender but can make costly mistakes in his own end. He is willing to mix it up and stand up for his teammates. Offensively, Melindy makes a great first pass and is a solid option but has had limited produced limited offensive numbers both in the AHL and ECHL.
Melindy is entering the third-year of his original entry-level contract with Arizona in 2015-16 and is at a career crossroads. He will look to earn a full-time role for Coyotes' AHL affiliate Springfield this season. Long-term his NHL potential is that of a defensive defenseman with a hard edge to his game. To reach that level he will need to continue developing physically and refine both his technical skill level and tactical play.