32 Teams in 31 Days NHL Team Recaps: Arizona Coyotes

Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

32 Teams in 31 Days NHL Team Recaps: Arizona Coyotes

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32 Teams in 31 Days NHL Team Recaps: Arizona Coyotes

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Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

Another rebuilding team in this install of 32 teams in 31 days, we have the Arizona Coyotes. To be frank it has been a bit grim for the fans of the Yotes for a bit of some time now. From struggling to make the playoffs since 2013 (outside of the 2020 play-in with Taylor Hall), to now playing without an arena at Arizona State University, to navigating an ongoing rebuild there is a lot on the plate for the front office of the Arizona Coyotes.

But luckily for the Coyotes and their fans, there is a recent glimmer of hope on the horizon for the team. Just like the Ducks, they currently own a ton of cap space having $23,056,624 as of this moment. And heading into next off-season, the Coyotes will own $43,949,999 to try and change their fortunes. But the biggest plus for the organization is their seemingless endless collection of draft picks. As they look to enter the Connor Bedard sweepstakes, they own their 1st round pick for the 2023 draft while owning a whopping 14 draft picks for the 2024 draft. 

In more recent years, after coming out of that contention window back in 2013, the prospect pool was pretty depleted in Arizona. The front office has flipped the script and added a nice crop of young talent to start that push of a youth movement forward. Now adding Logan Cooley, Conor Geekie, and Maveric Lamoureux to enter the fold as of this past draft, alongside Dylan Guenther and Victor Söderström, adds some future potential star power. Their prospect depth still has a ton of work to do, especially in comparison to other rebuilding teams across the league. But they have put themselves in a great spot to develop their talent while continuing to draft more.

In terms of the current outlook of the team, the team consists mostly of a ton of loaded expiring contracts. A lot of these players were from playoff contenders, who were traded to Arizona to shed some cap space. For the Coyotes, they have their main players locked up on solid contracts for a long time. Clayton Keller, Nick Schmaltz, and Jakob Chychrun look to be part of the long-term solution as they’re the only current players past 2023. Budding young talent complimented by seasoned core players could make for something scary in the future. 

By the current outlook of the off-season, outside of the draft, the Coyotes look to stay on their path of rebuilding and most likely tanking this season. The only real additions to the Coyotes were Zack Kassian and Nick Bjugstad. Rebuilding teams love adding veterans to try and boost the culture of their team while adding potential chances off addings points in the standings. In this case, I believe they are just trying to fill out roster spots for their lineup as they don’t really have much to work with.

Players to look out for are Clayton Keller, Dylan Guenther, and Victor Söderström. Dylan Guenther and Victor Söderström have huge potential to make the team this year out of camp after some marinating in the Minors. This would add a necessary jolt to the Coyotes core while getting these kids their chance to show up at the NHL level. As for Clayton Keller, he was on pace to have a career year as he scored 63 points in 67 games. This put him two shy of his 65 point total in 82 games during his rookie season. Assuming he plays all 82 games, and Nick Schmaltz develops well playing on his line, Keller could easily get himself over the hump and become a 70 point player.

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