Coyotes Update: Signings, Signings and More Signings

By Brandon LeBourveau
Although he hasn’t officially signed a contract with the Phoenix Coyotes, Krys Kolanos, the team’s 1st round pick in 2000, has made it official that he is turning pro, and therefore will forfeit his remaining two years of college eligibility. Kolanos has been skating with some NHL players in Phoenix, and most likely a deal will be reached before training camp.

“I’ve made a commitment to turning pro and I’ve tried to prepare myself mentally, physically and emotionally all summer. That’s why I’m down here, to get a little taste of it all,” Kolanos said. “These guys are just getting some work in and it’s impossible to tell how you might do . . . but staying in the NHL, that’s definitely the plan. I want to get stronger and more consistent to the point where I can bring everything to the table every night.”

Daymond Langkow, acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers earlier this summer for two future draft picks, was awarded $4.2 million over two years in his arbitration case. Langkow will earn $1.95 million this season and $2.25 next year. The Coyotes are banking on the 25 year old center to have an excellent season, after the team dealt away centers Jeremy Roenick and Robert Reichel this summer. Langkow and center Michal Handzus will fight it out for the 1st line center ice position.

The Coyotes’ have announced the signing of defenseman Jay Leach. A 5th round pick in 1998, Leach played this past season for the Providence Friars of the NCAA, recording 4 goals, 21 assists and 104 penalty minutes in 40 games. Jay will be in training camp, but realistically a season in the AHL is his likely 2001-02 destination.

In other signings, the Coyotes have re-signed two players that are counting on heavily to make an impact this season. Third year center Trevor Letowski signed a one year deal with an option for a second year. Letowski had a bad sophomore season last year, scoring 7 goals and adding 15 assists in 77 games. The big signing, however, came today. The team re-signed right wing Shane Doan to a three year contract. Doan, a prototypical power forward, scored a career high 26 goals and 63 points in 76 games this past season. Many believe one of the main reasons the Coyotes were willing to deal Keith Tkachuk was the fact they had another power forward in Shane Doan ready to emerge as a star. Doan will be given every opportunity to be a leader on the team this season. Expect him to also lead the team in scoring.