The Arizona Coyotes came up just short of making the NHL playoffs in 2019, finishing the year with 86 points. Like many NHL teams, they came so close. Before the draft, the Coyotes made two trades. The first, a smaller, but nevertheless an important one, happened on June 25th when they sent Kevin Connauton and a 2020 third-round draft choice to the Colorado Avalanche for center Carl Soderberg.
The second trade was one of the NHL’s big headline moves of the offseason. Arizona sent forward Alex Galchenyuk and defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph to the Pittsburg Penguins for right-winger Phil Kessel, defenseman Dane Birks, and a 2021 fourth round draft choice. In the draft, Arizona held the eleventh selection overall, which they used on defenseman Victor Soderstrom from Sweeden. In free agency, they added right winger Beau Bennett for one season, center Andy Miele for two seasons, and defenseman Aaron Ness for two seasons. This is a talented young roster in Arizona, and the battle-tested Phil Kessel should put them over the top, and back into the promised land.
The Arizona Coyotes franchise actually pre-dates their time in Arizona. The franchise was originally founded in 1972 as the Winnipeg Jets. They spent 25 years in Winnipeg before moving to Phoenix in 1996 and becoming the Phoenix Coyotes. In 2014 they changed their name to the Arizona Coyotes. Overall this is a team that has not had much success. They have never won the Stanley Cup, the Presidents' Trophy, or even their conference for that matter. They have just one division title to their credit, coming in 2012. In fact their most famous accomplishment is probably the fact that they were coached by the great Wayne Gretzky from 2005-2009.
The Coyotes struggled with financial woes from 2008 through 2012. The NHL attempted to “buy back” the franchise, with intentions to sell it to another interested party. This deal fell through, as the NHL also wanted the city of Glendale Arizona to pick up the tab on any losses.
Despite the lack of overall success, change may be on the horizon. The Coyotes are attempting a rebuild and have already acquired a few good young players. One such player is defensemen Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who led the team with 23 goals and 43 points overall this season.
The Arizona Coyotes hope to get back to their winning ways. Their 2014 Pacific Conference record put them just shy of the bottom of the NHL standings, but their 2013-14 season ended with the team seven games above the .500 mark.
The Arizona Coyotes had a not so good 2015-2016 season. The Coyotes finished the season with just 78 points, tied for the fourth-worst record in the Western Conference with the Winnipeg Jets and 7th worst record overall. The Coyotes were very bad on offense a year ago, and that shows with a defensemen, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, leading the team in points and assists. The Coyotes offense needed some help entering the offseason, and owned the 7th selection overal in the 2016 NHL draft. The Coyotes used that choice to select Center Clayton Keller. Hopefully Keller can fix some of these offensive woes.
The Arizona Coyotes struggled through most of last year, finishing the year with just 70 points, which was the third-worst record in the Western Conference. The Coyotes have a lot of young players on the roster right now, but most of them are unproven. In fact, many of their “young” players, have yet to record of a full season in the NHL, such as 22-year-old center Maxi Domi and 20-year-old center Dylan Strome.
After several trades, the Coyotes ended up with the 23rd pick overall, which they used on defensemen Pierre-Oliver Joseph. Following the draft Arizona did not do much in free agency other than sign forward Jordan Martinhook and center Nick Cousins to two-year contracts. It appears to be another tough season in Arizona.