Photo: Rookie goaltender Mark Visentin, the Coyotes 27th overall pick in 2010, appeared in 30 games for the AHL’s Portland Pirates in 2012-13 (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
For the first time in four seasons, the Phoenix Coyotes missed the playoffs. After having their most successful postseason in franchise history, the Coyotes struggled to string wins together until it was too late. With a slew of young defensemen looking to make the jump to the next level, the Coyotes are in a position where a good forward can fall right into their laps at the 12th pick.
Photo: Portland Pirates defenseman Brandon Gormley, who scored 29 points as an AHL rookie, maintains his place atop the Coyotes prospect pool (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
The Phoenix Coyotes prospect pool is loaded with players who are already playing professional hockey. Most of these players are playing for the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate team, the Portland Pirates. With the Pirates recently clinching a playoff spot, these prospects will gain valuable post-season experience early on in their careers.
Photo: After playing the past three seasons in Finland, defenseman Sami Vatanen made his way to North America and currently plays for the AHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks. (Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Below is the middle section Hockey’s Future’s NHL Team Rankings. The teams are ranked in terms of the quality of their overall prospect pool as voted on by the staff of Hockey's Future. For reference, just the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The rankings are done twice a year, with the second scheduled to be published in the Spring.
Photo: Henrik Samuelsson, the Phoenix Coyotes' first-round selection last summer, continues to be a force for the WHL's Edmonton Oil Kings. (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
The Phoenix Coyotes prospect pool currently features a modest total of seven players currently playing in the Canadian Hockey League. What they lack in numbers though they certainly make up for in talent with several of the players possessing the potential to become quality players at the next level.
Photo: Defenseman Connor Murphy, who will compete for a spot on Team USA at the 2013 WJC, is one of three first-round picks on the Phoenix Coyotes' blue line depth chart. (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
As has been the case over the past few years, the Phoenix Coyotes prospect pool is built around their strong group of defensive prospects. Elite talents like Keith Yandle and Oliver Ekman-Larsson quickly became franchise cornerstones and gave way to a new crop led by the likes of first-round studs Brandon Gormley, David Rundblad, and Connor Murphy.