Former Arizona Coyotes Players Doing Well in Preseason

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The Arizona Coyotes did a huge roster purge over the summer. Gone were Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Conor Garland, and Michael Bunting. Both OEL and Garland landed with the Vancouver Canucks with the Coyotes receiving the 9th overall selection in this years draft. The Yotes chose forward Dylan Guenther who has played well in the pre-season. So how well are the former Arizona Coyotes players doing? Let’s find out.

Arizona Coyotes May Regret Trading Some Players

While the future of Guenther may be bright, he more than likely won’t make the post-training camp roster. He won’t be able to play in the AHL either for two years unless the NHL/AHL agreement is changed on young player’s eligibility.

Losing both Ekman-Larsson and Garland may come back to sting them if both players continue their outstanding play after pre-season. OEL had two assists in Monday’s preseason tilt against the Calgary Flames. His aggressive play was definitely noticed by Canucks’ head coach Travis Green.  He assisted on the Canucks first goal scored through a maze of players off the stick of Garland.

It was that aggressive play that seemed to be missing when OEL was in Arizona. Too many times he was manhandled or did nothing to come to the aid of a teammate being attacked. If he can keep it up, the Coyotes may regret trading him.

Conor Garland’s Play Has Been Noticed

Garland’s usual speedy, hard-to-defend playing style was evident in the Flames game as well. He played well along the boards and his presence on defence definitely helped his new team’s success. Since Garland is familiar with OEL’s play, the two may be able to connect on a regular basis for the Vancouver club.

Again, losing Garland may be worse than general manager Bill Armstrong may have anticipated when he traded him away. Trading your leading scorer and assist leader last season may not be a frugal decision. Time will tell, but it seems the Coyotes let go of a fan favourite and a player with upside.

Michael Bunting Is Tearing It Up

Bunting, who elected to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs, has four goals including three power play tallies this pre-season. He scored a hat trick against the Ottawa Senators with each goal being of the man advantage variety. He signed for just $750,000 for 2021-22 and $1.15 million for 2022-23.

Bunting stated to the media that the main reason he signed with Toronto was so he could play with John Tavares. Tavares is impressed with Bunting’s play and compared him to  Matt Moulson, He also stated that Bunting plays well with or without the puck. That’s all good news for Maple Leafs fans. On the other hand, Coyotes’ fans will miss his tanacity and drives to the net. He was just what the forward line needed in Arizona, but he was another one who got away.

There’s no Doubt The Coyotes Are Rebuilding

By taking other former Arizona Coyotes players off the roster like Darcy Kuemper, Adin Hill, and Antti Raanta the Arizona team is blowing it up and starting fresh. They have excessive draft choices including three first-rounders and five second-rounders to accomplish the rebuild. They may not be done yet with trades as forward Phil Kessel may be next on the block. He is injured and may be ready to defend his consecutive games streak by the time the season begins on October 14th.

The former Arizona Coyotes players will progress with their new teams and see how it goes. Unfortunately, the team may be really bad before it gets better. Building through the draft should be ideal and now we just wait to see how it all rolls out.

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