The Arizona Coyotes have sent top prospect Dylan Strome to the Tucson Roadrunners of the AHL, while recalling Mario Kempe. Strome played just 11:46 in Arizona’s loss to Vegas this weekend, a relatively low number for a young player of his potential. The team likely wants him to get a bigger workload as they try to develop him into the type of player they believe him to be.
Strome, 20, was selected third-overall by the Coyotes in 2015 ahead of players like Mitch Marner, Noah Hanifin and Pavel Zacha. Though his development has come along slower than those three, he was expected by many to spend much of this season on the NHL roster. Last year, Strome was sent back to junior after just seven games in the NHL, but dominated upon his return. With 109 points in just 57 games (including playoffs), Strome showed he had outgrown the OHL.
Still, he hasn’t shown enough just yet to warrant an NHL roster spot every night. Though a move to the AHL is disappointing, he’ll be able to work on his game and skate against professionals on a nightly basis. Should he show he can dominate at that level, he’ll be back in the NHL before long.
Kempe was an interesting name this summer when the Coyotes decided to sign him and bring him back to North America. The 29-year old was a prospect of the Philadelphia Flyers previously, but has spent the last decade in European leagues. Last year, he played 56 games in the KHL recording 34 points. He signed a one-year two-way contract with the Coyotes this summer, worth the minimum $650K at the NHL level.