The Arizona Coyotes have been rebuilding for what seems like an eternity. While this is partly true, the Coyotes’ have set themselves in a great spot, thanks to General Manager Bill Armstrong. They have the core, prospects and draft selections to push them to the top and eventually win a Stanley cup. While the Coyotes sit at the bottom of the standings this year, which was expected, when could we see a potential return to the playoffs? And who will be helping the Coyotes reach that point?
What the Future Holds for the Coyotes
Current Prospect Pool
General Manager Bill Armstrong has led the Coyotes since he was hired in September 2020. Since then, the Coyotes have torn everything down, going into yet another rebuild. The Coyotes have quite the prospect pool so far. Some include the likes of Logan Cooley, Dylan Guenther, Josh Doan, Conor Geekie, and more. Cooley is having a fantastic year at the University of Minnesota, notching 48 points in 33 games. This would place him third in all of the NCAA as a freshman.
Dylan Guenther had some playing time in the NHL earlier this year, recording six goals and nine assists for 15 points. He was sent down to the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL (Western Hockey League) to work on his overall game. If he develops correctly, he will be an elite winger for the Coyotes. Another exciting prospect is Josh Doan, son of former Coyote legend Shane Doan. Playing for the Arizona State Sun Devils, Doan finished his campaign with 15 goals and 22 assists for 37 points.
The Coyotes’ rebuild will take time, but with some of the names listed above leading the charge, the future is bright.
Capitalizing on draft picks is one thing, but having the draft capital is another. This is something Bill Armstrong has made clear since day one. In the next three years, the Coyotes will have 13 picks in the first two rounds. The Coyotes acquired a lot of draft capital at this year’s trade deadline. This showed by gaining picks rather than assets. Bill Armstrong wanted to stock up for future drafts, as shown by getting picks in 2025 and 2026. He spoke to Craig Morgan, making it clear by saying,” We wanted draft capital.”
With the Jakob Chychrun trade, the Coyotes now hold the Ottawa Senators’ first-round pick (Top 5 protected). Assuming the Ottawa Senators miss the playoffs, the Coyotes will have two picks in the top 16. In what looks like a deep draft. The Coyotes had a similar situation last year, trading up for forward Connor Geekie. Only time will tell, but the Coyotes look to be in good shape regarding Draft Stock.
When the Coyotes Could Be Contenders Again
Here lies the biggest question in the Arizona Coyotes rebuild. The last time we saw the Coyotes in the playoffs was in the bubble in 2020. As it was short-lived, when could we see a deep run in the playoffs? With the current core and upcoming picks and prospects, it doesn’t seem out of reach to say within the next four years; we’ll be competing. Assuming everything goes to plan, the Coyotes should be competing by the year 2026-2027. They have a lot of draft stock, but it’s unreasonable to say they’ll hit on every pick.
With the likes of Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli, and Matvei Michkov, this next draft has several players that could make this year sooner. As previously stated, the Coyotes also have a chunk of prospects that will help them. Logan Cooley looks to be there number one center they’ve been searching for. Dylan Guenther looks like an elite first-line winger. They have a lot of good pieces, but will they all fit together? That will be answered when the time comes; until then, we await and see what happens.
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