Mid Summer Report: Arizona Coyotes

download (3)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com

As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Arizona Coyotes

Last Season’s Finish:  35-39-8, 78 pts, 4th in the Pacific Division, missed the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • D Alex Goligoski (trade)
  • F Jamie McGinn (UFA)
  • D Jamie McBain (UFA)
  • G Justin Peters (UFA)
  • F Ryan White (UFA)
  • D Luke Schenn (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F Boyd Gordon
  • F Viktor Tikhonov
  • F Kyle Chipchura

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • D Kyle Wood
  • G Adin Hill
  • F Dylan Strome

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 7/28)

  • F Tobias Reider

Current Cap Situation as of 7/28/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $66,657,838
  • Current salary cap space: $6,342,162

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Shane Doan, Antoine Vermette, Jamie McGinn, Martin Hanzal, Brad Richardson, Ryan White, Dylan Strome, Max Domi, Tobias Rieder, Anthony Duclair, Laurent Dauphin, Jordan Martinook
Defensemen
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Alex Goligoski, Michael Stone, Connor Murphy, Zbynek Michalek, Luke Schenn, Kevin Connauton, Klas Dahlbeck, Jakob Chychrun 
Goalies
Mike Smith, Louis Domingue

 

Outlook:

 

The Coyotes have missed the playoffs 10 of the last 13 years.  They have had off and on ownership and arena issues during that time.  They have even been the subject of near constant relocation rumors.  With all of this adversity off the ice, it has been a struggle to get and keep good players in the desert, with the exception of Shane Doan, of course.  Their on-ice struggles have allowed them to stockpile draft picks, which translates to blue chip prospects.  We started to see the product of their rebuilding efforts (through the draft) last season, and it will continue this season.  Currently, their active roster contains no less than 12 players that are 26 or under.  Unlike some teams who have their young players populating the 3rd and 4th lines, the Coyotes are being led by their young stars.  Three of the top 4 scorers from last season are under 25.  The other was 38 year old veteran Shane Doan.  Oliver Ekman-Larsson, 24, Max Domi, 20, Doan, and Anthony Duclair, 20 led a balanced scoring Coyotes team that had 10 players with at least 30 points last season.  19 year old Dylan Strome is also expected to make the team in the fall, adding to the young talent they already have.  They finished with 9 players with double digit goal totals, and Strome should make that 10.  That makes Arizona a tough team to play against.  Expect the players under 25 to continue to develop.  If they do, Arizona will push closer to making the playoffs in 2017.