Season preview: Arizona Coyotes

The 2020-21 season will kick off on January 13. With training camps kicking off this week, is looking at three key factors, in addition to analyzing the roster of each of the 31 NHL teams. Today, the Arizona Coyotes, who will play in the West section.

SEASONAL OVERVIEW : Ducks | Sharks | Kings

Coach : Rick Tocchet (fourth season)

Last season : 33-29-8 (point percentage of .529); 11th in the Western Conference, eliminated by the Colorado Avalanche in the first round


1. Healthy gatekeepers

Darcy Kuemper and Antti Raanta make an excellent duo when they are healthy. Kuemper’s 1.97 goals-against average put him second in the NHL behind Tristan jarry (1.85; 10-game minimum), of the Pittsburgh Penguins, when he sustained a lower-body injury in an 8-5 loss to the Minnesota Wild on December 19, 2019. Raanta kept a 9 record. -9-1 with 2.61 GAA, .922 save percentage and 19 shutout (19 starts) while Kuemper was on the sidelines but was unfit to play for most of the game. of the series against the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup qualifying round, won in four games by Arizona. Raanta has had to deal with several injuries in the past. He’s played more than 33 games in a season just once – 47 in 2017-18, his first season with Arizona. Over the past three seasons, Kuemper and Raanta are tied for first in the NHL in percentage (.924; 50-game minimum), but Kuemper has played 113 games, while Raanta has played 92. Kuemper is expected to play 113 games. start the season as a number one goalkeeper, but Raanta’s importance is not to be overlooked in a season shortened to 56 games.

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2. Replace Stepan

The transaction that sent Derek Stepan to the Ottawa Senators on Dec. 26 in return for a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft creates a void within the leadership group, but also at the center. The Coyotes have signed Derick Brassard (December 30) and Drake Caggiula (December 21) for a year, and both can play center or wing, so they could compete for a spot on the second or third line. Barrett Hayton, the fifth overall pick in the 2018 Draft, could be promoted to the second row after playing 20 NHL games last season. Johan Larsson will have a chance to establish themselves as center leader in one of the final two lines in his debut season in Arizona after accepting a two-year contract on Oct. 10.

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3. The fourth trio

Larsson, Tyler Pitlick (October 9) and John Hayden (October 9) came to an agreement with the Coyotes during the off-season and will represent depth players for Tocchet. They should play on the fourth line and bring tenacity and energy to a talented team.


Position at stake

Dryden Hunt signed a two-year, one-year contract on October 10. He’s a quick and tough forward, a profile that fits in well with what GM Bill Armstrong is looking for, who has said he wants his team “to get a little more disturbing.” Hunt will be evaluated for a depth role that will help the team over a condensed season.

Most intriguing addition

Hayton is set to play in the NHL full-time, and the Coyotes are hoping the 20-year-old center can spark an offense that averaged 2.71 goals per game last season, 23rd overall. the NHL. He had four points (one goal, three assists) in 20 games with the Coyotes last season, but had 66 points (26 goals, 40 assists) in 39 games for Sault Ste. Marie, in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), in 2018-19.

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Biggest potential surprise

Caggiula will enter his fifth NHL season with his third team since signing a contract with the Edmonton Oilers as an undrafted free agent on May 7, 2016. Last season, he scored 15 points (nine goals, six assists) in 40 games with the Chicago Blackhawks, but has been limited to 95 games in the last two seasons with the Blackhawks and Oilers, mostly due to injury. In Arizona, he will be reunited with the striker Nick Schmaltz, who led the Coyotes with 45 points (11 goals, 34 assists) in 70 games last season. Caggiula and Schmaltz were teammates with the Blackhawks in 2018-19 and the University of North Dakota from 2014-2016. They helped North Dakota win the NCAA Championship in 2016, when Caggiula was named. best player of the Frozen Four after a harvest of five points, including four goals, in two games.

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Ready to hatch

The Coyotes would be very happy to see Hayton establish themselves as their first center. He had four assists in eight games when loaned to Ilves in La Liiga, Finland’s top professional league, and is healthy after sustaining a shoulder injury with Canada at the 2020 World Junior Championship. the FIHG (CMJ).


Nick Schmaltz — Christian DvorakConor Garland
Clayton Keller — Barrett Hayton — Phil Kessel
Lawson Crouse — Derick Brassard — Christian Fischer
Tyler Pitlick — Johan Larsson — John Hayden

Oliver Ekman-LarssonJason demers
Alex GoligoskiJakob Chychrun
Niklas HjalmarssonJordan Oesterle

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Darcy Kuemper
Antti Raanta


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