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: 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: Chris Brown has been one of the top forwards for the Portland Pirates in 2013-14, which has earned him time with the NHL club (courtesy of Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
Legal squabbles between the Board of Trustees of Portland, Maine’s Cumberland County Civic Center and the ownership group of their primary tenant, the Portland Pirates, have relegated the team to the northern reaches of Maine for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, on the ice, the Phoenix Coyotes AHL affiliate finds themselves in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference standings.
Photo: Rookie pro Lucas Lessio broke camp with the Coyotes but was assigned to AHL Portland after three NHL games (courtesy of Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Phoenix Coyotes may have the most unbalanced prospect pool in the league. On defense, they have more legitimate players than places to put them. At forward, they may be forced to convert their young centers to address the scarcity of talent on both wings.
Photo: Coming off a strong rookie season for AHL Portland, defenseman Brandon Gormley remains the top prospect in the Coyotes organization (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
In 1995, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Tie Domi knocked New York Rangers defenseman Ulf Samuelsson unconscious with a sucker punch that is still considered one of the dirtiest plays in recent NHL history. This year, their sons could be the ones connecting, on scoring plays rather than right hooks.