Did anyone else see the Arizona Coyotes smoke the LA Kings last night? The Yotes sported their sparkling new road sweaters as they quickly jumped on Jonathan Quick 4-1. I know it’s the first week of the season and the Kings are notorious slow starters, but this is the same Arizona team that’s the consensus pick to finish last.
The Coyotes have high prospects in their vault and decided it’s time to break some out. Highly ranked and son of the NHL player I hated most, Max Domi debuted with his first NHL goal in the second period. Max looks like Tie and probably could become an effective brawler someday but that’s not why he was a top pick.
Max is a skilled skater, with high shot accuracy. His high slot, wrist shot was so fast and accurate it was almost as Quick didn’t see it. It looks like the twenty year old Center has a bright future ahead of him.
Another fine prospect that was in the Yotes lineup was left winger Anthony Duclair. Already one of my favorite players, Duclair plays a little bigger and rougher than his young age of 20. Duclair made his NHL debut with the Rangers last season, but was moved to Arizona in the Keith Yandle trade. Not only can he check but he can score. In his last season of Canadian Juniors, Duclair scored 50 goals in 56 games.
All are lead though by the Yotes underrated star defenseman, Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The Swede is overlooked when it comes to being named a top defenseman in the NHL, but he’s good enough to be mentioned. His superb ice intelligence (Googled, “smart cold guy,” this came up, so we are going with it, here, click it again, I know you want to) is what makes a top blue liner. Which will most certainly rub off on his young teammates. Proving that against the Kings with a goal in the first.
Even their coach, Dave Tippett, is regarded as one of the NHL’s best coaches. He’s had past success in a very tough market plus he’s good with developing talent.
So why am I pumping the Coyotes tires much? And why do you care? Well, worst case scenario is Las Vegas isn’t awarded a franchise. Boo, I know right that would suck. So second worst case scenario would be Las Vegas isn’t awarded a franchise but will be rewarded with a relocated team. And it’s pretty obvious with their stadium debacle that team would be Arizona. If the team and the region still struggle Las Vegas makes the most sense.
So it might make sense to pay attention to a young team in the making. Plus if projections come true the Yotes will have the first pick. Which would be a dream come true in Scottsdale native Auston Matthews. Likely next years overall top pick Matthews has NHL scouts raving, check him out.
All of those young talented players would be fantastic to inherit. Plus a solid coach, Ekman- Larrson, and a bad-ass mascot, the Coyotes might be worth watching.
Remember, it could be worse…