They had not yet formulated as the Arizona Coyotes in 2010, and their scouting staff was geared more towards drafting for immediate need, rather than best player available. Often a time of renewal and hope, the 2010 NHL Entry Draft originally presented the Coyotes with only four picks, and adding prospects to a depleted prospect pool became their focus.
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.
After re-locating from Atlanta to Winnipeg prior to the 2010-11 and hiring a general manager with roots in western Canada, it is not surprising that the Winnipeg Jets have focused much more of their energy on procuring talent from both the WHL and those players in western Canada and Minnesota bound for college hockey careers.
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.
The Arizona Coyotes head into training camp with some key roster spots available. With Mike Ribeiro having left town, Max Domi, Henrik Samuelsson and Lucas Lessio will all vie for the vacancy in Arizona’s top nine forwards. Also, Brandon Gormley appears ready to finally wrestle away an NHL roster spot from the fading veterans at the bottom of Arizona’s depth chart like David Schlemko.