Coyotes Have Goaltending Decisions to Make This Offseason

As the NHL kicks off spherical two of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Arizona Coyotes and others await their destiny within the draft lottery, set for Monday, May 8 at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT. The potential of including one other future star to the Coyotes stays basic supervisor Bill Armstrong’s greatest precedence, however not their just one.

Karel Vejmelka, Arizona Coyotes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

A number of weeks in the past, in our offseason recap and questions article, we famous that the Coyotes have a looming resolution to make about their goaltending. No matter how exhausting they fight to keep away from it, it received’t go away. With Karel Vejmelka, Connor Ingram, and Ivan Prosvetov on the roster by the tip of the season, the Coyotes have a summer time to determine who stays and who goes.

Breaking Down Coyotes’ Trio in Net

At one level final season, the Coyotes appeared destined for a bottom-three end, cementing their odds to land a top-three draft choose. While that’s nonetheless a risk, the crew harm themselves by catching lightning in a bottle after the All-Star break. This was due partly to the robust play of Ingram and Vejmelka, which led to hypothesis that Armstrong would transfer one of many two goaltenders for property, regardless of many believing Vejmelka was the person to lead the crew via their rebuild.

Related: Arizona Coyotes 2022-23 Season Recap and Offseason Questions

Insert Prosvetov, the 24-year-old Russian netminder who was as soon as anticipated to be the longer term starter for the Coyotes. Playing on a make-it-or-break-it deal, the crew known as him up to finish the season with seven video games, going 4-3-0, with a 3.98 goals-against common and .880 save proportion. Despite the numbers, the group noticed a special model of the younger netminder, who had a sharper focus, faster motion, and a calmer demeanor, which caught the eye of coach André Tourigny.

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But what of the Coyotes’ primary two netminders? Ingram completed the season 6-13-8, with a .907 save proportion and three.37 goals-against common, whereas Vejmelka, in his second NHL season, went 18-24-6 with a .900 save proportion and three.41 goals-against. All three posted lower than stellar numbers, anticipated on a rebuilding membership, however at occasions, said their case for a beginning job subsequent season, leaving administration with extra questions than solutions.

Coyotes’ Next Man Up

As of now, each Ingram and Prosvetov head into the summer as unrestricted free agents, leaving administration with a substantial gap within the crease. While defensive depth actually stays a priority this offseason, the group doesn’t have a lot of their pipeline to exchange the goalies in the event that they each stroll. After Vejmelka, Ingram, and Prosvetov, they’ve Tyler Parks (American Hockey League, AHL), David Tendeck (American Hockey League, AHL), Rasmus Korhonen (Liiga), and Anson Thornton (Ontario Hockey League, OHL). Thornton is anticipated to be the group’s subsequent star however stays a few years away from being an NHL common.

Ivan Prosvetov Arizona Coyotes
Ivan Prosvetov, Arizona Coyotes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

One factor the Coyotes can hope for subsequent season is that whoever the crew names as their starter on opening night time can hope to take a step ahead, because the crew hopes to be extra aggressive and can want a dependable goalie who can backstop them to wins. They also can add depth to the place through free company or commerce. The Coyotes have a historical past of revitalizing and jump-starting a goaltender’s profession, as they did with Sean Burke, Nikolai Khabibulin, Ilya Bryzgalov, Devan Dubnyk, Mike Smith, and most not too long ago, Darcy Kuemper, and Adin Hill.

What will occur this offseason remains a mystery. If the Coyotes need to make a press release subsequent season, holes want to be stuffed and strikes want to be made to stabilize the crew’s future. For now, we await the 2 greatest hurdles within the crew’s method, their May 16 enviornment/leisure district vote, and subsequent week’s NHL Draft Lottery. For now, goaltending and defensive depth points take a again seat, however relaxation assured, questions will probably be answered in time.

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