Arizona Coyotes top prospect Logan Cooley will not be signing his entry-level contract this summer, as the University of Minnesota announced today that he’s returning to the school for his sophomore season.
After a standout rookie season in the Big 10 conference, finishing second in the entire NCAA in scoring behind 2023 draft prospect Adam Fantilli, many expected Cooley not only to sign with Arizona but play a prominent role there in 2023-24. Instead, the 2022 third-overall selection will try and build on those totals and shoot for a national championship with Minnesota, a feat they were only one goal away from achieving this season.
Cooley, a skilled and cerebral two-way center, will be a top-six pivot when he does opt to come to the NHL. It’s fair to speculate if the Coyotes’ lack of a concrete long-term solution to their arena issues played a role in Cooley deciding to push back his NHL debut by another year.
While there may be little left to achieve in his pre-NHL development, the NHL isn’t always everything for players, either. Cooley’s desire to win a national championship, as well as the lower-stakes environment of college hockey, are also likely factors in his choice.
Neither Cooley nor the Coyotes have commented on his decision publically.