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 led London scorers with two points in a meager offensive showing from the Memorial Cup host Knights (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)
Prospects in the Phoenix Coyotes pool received very little playoff exposure in 2013-14. The Coyotes, as well as the AHL Portland Pirates and the ECHL Gwinnett Gladiators, all had down years and failed to qualify for postseason action.
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: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward and Phoenix Coyotes prospect Tyler Gaudet played in 99 regular season games over two seasons for the Soo, totaling 69 points over those two seasons (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
He wasn't drafted by the OHL. He was passed over by every NHL team in two entry drafts. But by signing a three-year, entry-level contract earlier this year with the Phoenix Coyotes, Tyler Gaudet is a wonderful example of how hard work, dedication, and persistence can pay off.
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.