Ahead of their match-up tonight with the Dallas Stars, the Arizona Coyotes announced that they had called up goaltender Adin Hill on an emergency basis. Starter Mike Smith is reportedly sick and the team must not have believed he was even in condition to serve as Louis Domingue’s backup tonight. It’s the first career promotion for 20-year-old Hill, a 2015 third-round pick who is in his first full pro season.
Don’t worry Coyotes fans, Smith doesn’t have the mumps. It’s unclear what Smith does have, but the sickness isn’t considered serious. The All-Star keeper should be healthy and back in net shortly; he’s posted a .915 save percentage and 2.92 goals against average in 40 appearances thus far this season.
However, his short absence will give the Coyotes a chance to take a look at Hill, who is possibly the best goalie prospect in the system. Hill was a third-round pick from the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks (could he return to Portland with his NHL franchise in the near future?) and is in his first full pro season, playing mostly with the AHL’s Tuscon Roadrunners. Hill has a .916 save percentage and 2.84 goals against average in 26 AHL games and has out-shined Marek Langhamer, who was recently demoted by the Coyotes. Getting the young Hill a look at NHL action, even if it just from the bench, can only serve to benefit his development at this point. With Domingue struggling mightily this season and Smith still under-performing relative to his contract, the net may be Hill’s for the taking sooner rather than later.