Welcome back to my 31 in 31 Top 10 Prospect Series.
Yesterday, we took a look at the Anaheim Ducks top 10 prospects. Highlighted by Sam Steel, Maxime Comtois, and Troy Terry, the Ducks have lots of promise on the offensive side of the game when the likes of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry retire. For day two, today we’re going to be taking a look at the Ducks’ divisional rivals, the Arizona Coyotes. Without further ado, let’s take a look at who the Yotes’ have in the pipelines.
1. Nick Merkley (RW, 1st Round, 30th Overall in 2015)
One aspect of Merkley’s game that stood out more than any other in his draft year was his incredible vision on the ice and playmaking skills. His draft year saw him an incredible 70 assists and 90 points in total in 72 games. These are typically stats that could earn you a top 10 slot in the draft, but given how stacked the 2015 NHL Draft was, the Coyotes got lucky and stole him at 30th overall. He currently has 39 points in 38 games in his debut AHL season.
2. Pierre-Olivier Joseph (D, 1st Round, 23rd Overall in 2017)
Joseph was drafted 23rd overall back in 2017 and he’s been steadily growing both as a player and as a person since then. He’s currently in what could be his final junior season with the Charlottetown Islanders and he’s improved his totals every season, putting up 20 points in 24 games so far this season. Look for him to potentially make the jump to the AHL after this season.
3. Barrett Hayton (C, 1st Round, 5th Overall in 2018)
Needless to say, Coyotes GM John Chayka surprised the entire hockey world when he selected Barrett Hayton at fifth overall. Hayton was projected as a mid-to-late first round pick, and he was selected ahead of the likes of Filip Zadina and Adam Boqvist among others. Granted, despite Hayton being picked likely too high, he still has the tools to be an effective centre at the NHL level which earns him a spot in the top three prospects. Hayton currently has 33 points in 20 games for the Greyhounds.
4. Adin Hill (G, 3rd Round, 76th Overall in 2015)
Hill is in the middle of his third full pro season and despite not having the strongest of starts in the AHL, he’s been very, very good in his first taste of NHL action. The 6’6 Comox, BC native has appeared in four games and sports a 3-0-0 record with a goals against average of 0.39 and a save percentage of .984. Of course some of these appearances were relief, but he still has a shutout to his name and will look to remain in the NHL full time.
5. Kyle Capobianco (D, 3rd Round, 63rd Overall in 2015)
Capobianco was drafted in the third round back in 2015 and like fellow D prospect P.O Joseph, he’s been steadily improving his game every season. Standing at 6’1 and 196 lbs, Capobianco has all the tools to be a very effective defenseman at the NHL level someday. He plays a prototypical two way game and knows how to shut down passing lanes and has ability to quarterback a power-play as well. He’s currently in his second full pro season with the Tucson Roadrunners of the AHL and has 11 points in 18 games thus far.
6. Trevor Murphy (D, Undrafted, Acquired by Coyotes in 2018)
Murphy started off his career inking an entry level contract with the Nashville Predators back in 2015 and spent three seasons in their organization before being dealt to Arizona in a four-prospect deal. So far, he has nine points through 18 games and made a good impression in his only NHL stint last season, where he put up three points in eight games. Murphy could potentially see more NHL time this season barring injury.
7. Conor Garland (RW, 5th Round, 123rd Overall in 2015)
Garland was widely projected as a steal when the Coyotes drafted him in 2015. Despite his small stature at 5’10 and 165 lbs, Garland was absolutely lighting up the QMJHL in his draft year when he put up 128 points in 62 games. He started to slip in the prospect rankings after a slow start to his AHL career, but he’s back on track in his third season with 18 points in 18 games.
8. Tyler Steenbergen (C, 5th Round, 128th Overall in 2017)
Steenbergen just finished his final WHL season with the Swift Current Broncos where he put up 102 points in 56 games. He’s currently playing for the Tucson Roadrunners of the AHL in his first pro season where he currently has six points in 14 games. If the small centre can continue rounding out his game in the pros, he could definitely make the NHL within the next few seasons.
9. Jordan Gross (D, Undrafted, Signed by Coyotes in 2018)
Gross was signed out of the NCAA as an undrafted defenseman and so far he’s impressed. Playing in his first AHL season, the 5’10 right handed defenseman has put up eight points in 16 games. Along with Murphy, Gross is one of those players who’s trying to prove that you don’t have to be drafted to make a name for yourself in the big leagues.
10. Brayden Burke (LW, Undrafted, Signed by Coyotes in 2018)
Along with Gross, Burke was another undrafted signing by the Coyotes in 2018 and he’s another player who’s trying to make a name for himself in the big leagues. After an amazing final season with the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors, Burke recently signed with the Coyotes and is currently in the middle of his first full AHL season, having registered seven points through 18 games so far this year.
Thanks for reading! Tune in tomorrow when we’ll continue the series and take a look at the Boston Bruins top ten prospects.