Brandon Gormley appeared in only five games for Arizona in 2013-14 but is expected to be a fixture on the Coyotes’ blueline in 2014-15. (courtesy of Chris Coduto/Icon SMI)
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.
Photo: Yan-Pavel Laplante, the Coyotes’ 62nd overall pick in 2013, split the 2013-14 season between the Charlottetown Islanders and Victoriaville Tigres in the QMJHL before making his pro debut with AHL Portland (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
In August of 2013, the Phoenix Coyotes were purchased by IceArizona. Operating under an autonomous ownership group for the first time since 2009, rumors and speculation of the club’s demise or relocation were finally put to rest.
Photo: Defenseman Connor Murphy skated in 30 games with Phoenix in 2013-14, finishing his first NHL stint with eight points and a plus-5 rating (courtesy of Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
Several Phoenix Coyotes prospects achieved career-changing milestones in 2013-14. Jordan Szwarz and Connor Murphy made their NHL debuts. Others, like Tobias Rieder and Yan-Pavel Laplante, enjoyed their first taste of professional hockey with the Portland Pirates.
Photo: Max Domi, the Coyotes’ top pick in 2013, ranks in the top five in the OHL in scoring for the London Knights (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
The Coyotes system has shifted this spring because of the graduation of Michael Stone as well as the emergence of Connor Murphy and Jordan Szwarz.
Photo: Henrik Samuelsson is the leading scorer of one of the WHL’s most potent lines, combining with Curtis Lazar and Mitchell Moroz to the lead the attack for the Edmonton Oil Kings (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
Teams define themselves by U.S. Thanksgiving, according to conventional wisdom. This rule of thumb could apply to players, as well. By late November, there are no more predictions or expectations. Prospects are what their performance says they are.