Centers with the Coyotes

By Russell Brooks

Krys Kolanos has graduated according to Hockeys Future prospects rules


#1 Jeff Taffe – Minnesota Gophers (26 GP, 22 G, 15 A, 37 P, 16 PIM, -1)

Taffe has had a career year so far as his production from last year has almost doubled. One problem with Taffe is his defensive game is not as strong as his offensive game and he needs to become a better 2-way center. Taffe was one of the key components in the Keith Tkachuk trade and his status is unknown to whether he will try to make the Coyotes roster as of next year or stay in College for his senior season.

#2 Martin Podelsak – Lethbridge Hurricanes (32 GP, 12 G, 20 A, 32 P, 29 PIM, +9)

Podelsak has adjusted well to the North American ice style since he came over to North America in the 2000 CHL Import Draft. Podelsak 2-way game has improved greatly this year. Podelsak is also starting to use is 6’5” frame to his advantage. Podelsak’s future will most likely stay in the juniors for one more year before attmpting to transfer over the to NHL.

#3 Jason Jaspers – Springfield Falcons (40 GP, 17 G, 10 A, 27 P, 35 PIM, +3)

Jaspers is having a great year so far and has even earned a recall with the Coyotes, which he registered a point in three games played. After the Coyotes made the Lewtoski trade, it has opened a door for Jaspers who plays almost an identical style as Lewtoski did. Jaspers will have a shot at making the Coyotes although he will stay at Springfield next year at all likelihood.

#4 Peter Fabus – Dukla Trencin (22 GP, 12 G, 8 A, 20 P, 59 PIM, +12)

Fabus wasn’t able to adjust to the North America game and was sent home by the Coyotes. Since he has returned to Dukla he has averaged nearly a point per game and has returned to the style he played last season. He may possibly come over again next year and give it one more shot in North America.

#5 Eric Westrum – Springfield Falcons (47 GP, 7 G, 22 A, 29 P, 85 PIM, -18)

Westrum started the season as hot as fire but has cooled off ever since then. His minus 18 is the worst on the Falcons but look for it to improve over the next couple years. Westrum will stay put in Springfield for at least one more year.

#6 Brent Gauvreau – Mississippi Sea Wolves (44 GP, 20 G, 23 A, 43 P, 62 PIM, +1)

Gauvreau has had an exceptional season so far which has earned a couple recalls to the Springfield Falcons. Gauvreau will have a well-deserved chance to make the Falcons next year.

#7 Ryan Lauzon – Mississippi Sea Wolves (34 GP, 5 G, 8 A, 13 P, 12 PIM, -9)

Lauzon has had a couple injuries in the first half which have kept him from having the success he has had in the past. Lauzon has been called up to the Falcons, but has not registered a point during the two games he has played with them. Lauzon will most likely spend one more year splitting time between Springfield and Mississippi before playing full time with Springfield.

#8 Sergei Kuznetsov – Mississippi Sea Wolves (45 GP, 8 G, 16 A, 24 P, 34 PIM, +7)

Kuznetsov has had a decent first half of the year. He has not played up to his potential and needs to pick up his play to have a shot at cracking the Coyotes. He will likely spend the next couple years with Mississippi.

#9 Pat O’Leary – Minnesota Gophers (25 GP, 3 G, 2 A, 5 P, 14 PIM, -1)

O’Leary isn’t given a lot of ice time on the Gophers and that hasn’t allowed him to develop as a player. It is way to early for me to predict as to where this young player will go with his career but I would think that he may be a minor league player for his career.

#10 David Klema – Boston University (26 GP, 3 G, 3 A, 6 P, 0 PIM, -6)

Kelma is in the same situation that O’Leary is in. Klema is only a freshmen and doesn’t I don’t really have an idea where he will progress to in his professional career. Give Klema at least 2 years to develop his game and physical condition and I should have a good idea of where he has the chance to end up.

#11 Fredrik Loven – Tingsryd AIF (32 GP, 5 G, 5 A, 10 P, 22 PIM, +28)

Loven has never played up to his potential and will always be a minor-league player. He will most likely finish up his career in the Elitserien.