Koch, 26, brings a wealth of international professional experience to the Coyotes organization. In 2022-23 with HC Vítkovice in the Czech Extraliga, the Slovak defender recorded three goals and nine assists for 12 points in 46 regular season games. In the playoffs, Koch contributed two goals and two assists in 16 games while amassing 17 penalty minutes.
A physical, shutdown defenseman, Koch provided some unexpected offense for Slovakia at the 2023 Men’s World Championship. Koch notched a goal and three assists in seven games, leading all Slovak defensemen in scoring.
Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong had this to say about the signing:
We are very pleased to have Patrik join our organization. He is a competitive, defensive defenseman with good puck moving capability and was an integral contributor to the Slovak National Team’s defense for many years. We look forward to seeing him in training camp.
Standing at 6-foot-1 and weighing 190 pounds, Koch spent the last three seasons with Vítkovice, accumulating six goals and 17 assists for 23 points in 156 career Extraliga regular-season games. Koch also played eight games with HC Kometa Brno between 2015 and 2017, where he was briefly teammates with Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka.
The Coyotes have been active in terms of bringing over European free agents in recent seasons, but most of them ended up playing marginal NHL roles at best. Koch is likely destined for AHL Tucson to start the season and will need to work his way up the depth chart to make his NHL debut.