When the Arizona Coyotes drafted Barrett Hayton fifth overall in the 2018 NHL Draft, heads turned. Who is this player who got picked so high? Not only did he complete his first multi-goal game against the St. Louis Blues in their 3-2 road victory, but he’s also playing with renewed confidence. In addition, he’s getting valuable ice-time from new head coach Andre Tourigny. He played 17:54 minutes in that game and like any coach if you have a player giving it his all, you keep him in the game.
Barrett Hayton May Finally Be Developing Into an NHL Player
Not just one game will define if Hayton has turned the corner and will be a regular in the Coyotes lineup but it’s a start. The goal he scored to give his team a 2-1 and some momentum was a beauty. An adept steal and then a well-defined power move to the net, and a finish that Blues netminder Jordan Binnington couldn’t stop. That’s the Barrett Hayton most Coyotes fans have been waiting to see. Like most prospects, each develops at a different pace. Hayton had some injuries also which slowed down his development process.
If Hayton can continue his improved play, he will cement his position in the permanent lineup and not worry about being sent back down to the AHL. He has the talent, and for whatever reason, he is just now showing it. He can certainly have an excellent future on the rebuilding Coyotes. Depending on whether the team is fortunate to draft Shane Wright or not, Hayton must make his mark going forward. Now that Christian Dvorak was traded, Hayton has an opening to be a second-line centre. He is a skilled playmaker and knows how to go to the corners to fight for the puck.
To Have Success in the NHL, Consistency Rules
Hayton, while still young and developing, must show consistency to remain relevant in the NHL. Coaches look for results, and now that Hayton is starting to provide that he has a perfectly legitimate shot to be a good NHL player. Having head coach Tourigny behind the bench will help him gain confidence and that can really make the difference behind any success he will have.
Opposing teams are noticing him, and that became evident in the last game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Hayton went to the boards to retrieve a loose puck and a Columbus defender went with him. The only thing was, the puck went off the boards and directly to Phil Kessel who buried it for a goal. It’s little things like that which will help Hayton to progress and help his team. Even though he wasn’t awarded an assist, since he didn’t touch the puck, his defender knew he scored two goals in his previous game and got the respected coverage he deserved.
Rumours of a Trade Seem to Have Vanished
Not too long ago, there were rumblings that the Coyotes were being contacted about a possible trade involving Hayton. That was denied by the team, and it seems his path to becoming a permanent fixture on the team is beginning to be apparent. If he can stay healthy and get the ice time he is currently getting, the rest will fall into place. The Coyotes know they have a good young prospect, now they need to continue to give him a chance to prove it.