The plan for the Arizona Coyotes is not an easy pill to swallow. Especially after eight-plus years of being mediocre and finally touching some sort of victory with getting into the playoffs in the pandemic bubble last year.
But with a new general manager in Bill Armstrong, the Coyotes’ current structure under former GM John Chayka was not working. Most of Chayka’s signings and people working behind the scenes have been removed from the team and players were either traded or just let go.
The plan? A full rebuild. It’s back to the days when Chayka first came in as GM and young kids like Dylan Strome and Clayton Keller had been high picks for the team.
Conor Garland, Michael Bunting, Adin Hill and Darcy Kuemper were all traded for future draft picks and other players that may or may not stay on the team.
It’s true, the team is gutted by most of its players. It’s not all bad, though. Some players like Jakob Chychrun, Clayton Keller and Christian Dvorak are still with the hockey club.
Arizona will not play well next year. No way to compete with some of the teams getting into the playoffs, but that seems to be the game-plan. Right now, the Coyotes have seven draft picks in the first two rounds, with two of them being in the first. One draft pick comes from the Avalanche, so it’s likely that pick will be late in the first round. However, if the Coyotes do not place well and win something in the lottery, they can win a chance at some rising stars that will be in the draft, including OHL star Shane Wright.
The team also has some notable selections from previous drafts. This year’s first round for the Coyotes was used on Dylan Guenther, a forward from the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings, who scored 24 points across 12 games in a condensed season.
There are other talents such as Jan Jenik, Barrett Hayton, Victor Soderstrom and Liam Kirk. Arizona is also building with signings that are two-way contracts that will only last a year. Such players include Ryan Dzingel, Dmitrij Jaskin and many more.
It’s a sign that what the Coyotes have right now is temporary and the team is looking into the future instead of now to build the team. There probably isn’t much to be excited about. The season isn’t going to be good, but maybe the idea of the future can hold some fans down. If not, other good news is that the Kachina may become the main logo again.