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.
Photo: Coyotes 12th overall pick Max Domi was the team’s third consecutive first round pick to have a father that played in the NHL (courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon SMI)
The Phoenix Coyotes made six selections at the 2013 NHL Draft, primarily improving the center depth in the pipeline while still adding depth to the strengths in goal and on defense. The Coyotes draft class does not feature a lot of size, but each of the players makes up for it by competing hard and being willing to throw their weight around anyway.
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: Finnish forward Alexander Ruuttu has yet to break through in the SM-liiga, but after a mid-season trade from Jokerit to Ilves, he could get a bigger shot in 2013-14 (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Thanks to most of their NCAA prospects recently making the jump to professional hockey, the Phoenix Coyotes do not have a large number of European and collegiate prospects. Fortunately for them, the ones they do have continue to get better with each passing season. From adjusting in their freshman seasons to being introduced to the European professional leagues, most of these prospects enjoyed successful seasons in 2012-13.
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.