Photo: Louis Domingue used an impressive 2013-14 season to solidify himself as the starter for the AHL’s Portland Pirates in 2014-15. (courtesy of John Cordes/Icon Sportswire)
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.
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.