As everyone was enjoying their holiday weekend, the Arizona Coyotes received a bit of bad news on one of their young forwards. According to PHNX Sports’ Craig Morgan, rookie Matias Maccelli is expected to miss six weeks with a lower-body injury. Maccelli suffered the injury during Friday’s win over the Los Angeles Kings and was forced to leave the game prematurely. At this time, it’s unclear what exactly the nature of the injury is.
Amid another season of uncertainty with an odd arena situation, near the bottom of the league standings, the Coyotes have been able to find a few bright spots and hope for the future. One of those bright spots has been Maccelli, who is currently second in the rookie scoring race with 22 points. An adept playmaker, Maccelli’s 22 points come from just three goals, but 19 assists over 30 games, a large split but not necessarily of concern, given his 13.0% shooting percentage.
A native of Finland, Maccelli was a fourth-round pick of the Coyotes in 2019 and rose relatively quickly to becoming the impact player he is today. After spending two years with Ilves Tampere back home, where he was much of the same player he is today, Maccelli came to North America for 2021-22. The winger dominated the AHL with 57 points in just 47 games and earned himself a March call-up and a long 23-game look in the NHL.
Already 29th in the league in goals-for, losing Maccelli won’t help the cause. There isn’t necessarily a race for the Coyotes to stay in, however the team does have a mix of young players who need to develop and build confidence as well as veteran trade assets whose performance rather directly impacts what they’ll fetch in a trade. Still, a silver lining could be an opportunity for another young player, perhaps their next Maccelli, to get a chance to show he can have a similar impact, which for the team can only help accelerate the rebuild process.