The Hockey News published their Arizona Coyotes season preview today, and from it comes some nice analysis of the up-and-coming team. Young GM John Chayka has built a prospect-powerhouse, with players like Christian Dvorak and Dylan Strome joining the club this season.
Strome, as THN reports, is set to become the team’s second line center, behind Martin Hanzal and may skate alongside captain Shane Doan and new winger Jamie McGinn. With those two at his sides, he’ll definitely be able to use his creativity and flash to put up some strong offensive numbers. His future as the Arizona number one center isn’t set in stone, but it’s definitely a real possibility down the line.
- THN also notes that only eight of Anthony Duclair’s 20 goals came in the second half, including just four in his final 26 games. He’s a prime candidate for a sophomore slump as he heads into his second NHL season, but if he continues to skate alongside Domi he’s sure to have respectable numbers when the season ends. Duclair is a big part of the power game that compliments players like Domi and Strome, and will be an important contributor going forward.
- If the Coyotes are to do anything resembling a playoff push, much of it will come on the back of goaltender Mike Smith. He’s 34 and coming off a few poor seasons, but did post a .944 save percentage in his return from a core muscle last season. If he can become the Vezina contender he was in 2012, this team could be a contender as soon as next season.