NHL Pacific Division Preview: Arizona Coyotes

2017-18 Overview

The Arizona Coyotes went 29-41-12 last season which was good for 70 points. That record landed the Coyotes in last place in the Pacific Division. Their point total matched their previous campaign in 2016-17.

Off-Season Moves

The most noteworthy additions here are Alex Galchenyuk (traded one-for-one for Max Domi) and Michael Grabner. Galchenyuk is going to be interesting because he never materialized for the Canadiens. Galchenyuk shows potential as a good NHL player but it has yet to happen. Grabner was a sneaky good addition to the Coyotes young core. He has speed and should fit right in with an uptempo style.

Returning Stars

As far as returning stars go, on the front end they have forwards Derek Stepan, Richard Panik and Clayton Keller coming back. Meanwhile Alex Goligoski and Oliver Ekman-Larsson (cover photo) come back to lead the defense this season.

Breakout Bets

When it comes to a breakout bet, it is hard not to think that Alex Galchenyuk will finally come around and do something. He has yet to have that breakout season. Even worse is that he played for a hockey-crazy city like Montreal. There is less pressure in Arizona so Galchenyuk might flourish in a breakout year.

What to Expect

The Coyotes are a little far off from where the rest of the division is now (minus the Canucks), so I don’t see them making as big of a push as the Flames or Oilers for a playoff spot. However, I do think they will be a respectable and hard-working team. I predict they will be in the 80-to-83 points range. They just do not have the same depth as other teams in the division. And their goaltending tandem of Antti Raanta and Darcy Kuemper doesn’t sit well with me either; I am not sold on either of those goalies yet.

Cover Photo: NHL.com

-Kevin Gesterling covers the Pacific Division in the NHL’s Western 

Kevin Gesterling

Conference for Full Press Coverage. You can reach him on Twitter @kgesterling1_FPC.


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