In this week’s edition of the Arizona Coyotes 2021-22 offseason player reviews, we’ll take a look at rookie defenseman Janis Jérôme Moser, known simply as J.J. Moser. After being selected 60th overall in the second round of the 2021 NHL Draft, the Coyotes’ 21-year-old rookie would shine at development camp and spend just 18 games in the American Hockey League (AHL) before becoming one of the first few players from the 2021 draft class to make their NHL debut.
Upon making his NHL debut, Moser immediately made an impact, slotting into the team’s top two defensive pairings, with star defenseman Jakob Chychrun missing a chunk of the season with an injury. With a shot at top-pair minutes, the Coyotes’ rookie defenseman quickly developed into one of the team’s top defensemen this previous season.
Moser’s Season in Review
Moser’s 2021-22 season started off with a spark, recording his first two career goals on Dec. 28 against the San Jose Sharks in just his third career game while logging a whopping 22 minutes of ice in the process. From that moment on, his role on the team would only grow larger, finishing third on the team in power play minutes while averaging 18:42 of ice time. He finished his rookie campaign with four goals and 11 assists in 43 games.
As the season dragged along for the Coyotes, Moser felt the effects, slowly slipping and leading to a decrease in production. Nevertheless, in a season filled with questions, injuries, and lots of losing, the Coyotes relied heavily on him to take on a bigger role, and he delivered, quickly becoming one of the team’s top defensemen alongside Dysin Mayo and Shayne Gostisbehere, blocking 55 shots. He quickly garnered respect and chemistry among his fellow teammates.
What Moser Can Improve On, Build Off Of
While he provided a spark early in the season on the team’s blue line, the rookie quickly showed areas of weaknesses and needed improvement in his game as the season went along. Like his fellow teammate and rookie defenseman Mayo, Moser, on most nights, was facing the opposition’s top line, and he also struggled quite a bit at handling the puck or keeping it out of his net, registering a plus/minus of minus-10, while turning it over 24 times.
Despite the struggles, Moser had plenty of bright spots as well, including finishing in the top five for average ice time on the team and fourth for defensemen. He was a physical presence, laying the body 32 times, and possesses an incredible shot-blocking ability while recording 10 takeaways. He has a lot of room to grow and quickly has turned into a player to keep an eye on heading into his sophomore season.
Moser’s Next Move
Going forward, Moser’s role, much like Mayo’s, will depend on the Coyotes’ defensive situation. The team currently has 11 rostered defensemen going into this season after a couple of offseason additions. While he proved to be a valuable defenseman to the team, general manager Bill Armstrong’s additions of Troy Stecher, Josh Brown, and Patrik Nemeth may limit how much of a role he plays next season.
Depending on what the Coyotes decide to do with fellow Chychrun and Gostisbehere, both of whom may be moved this season, Moser has a really good chance to break out and build off his rookie season. At just 21 years of age, the future is bright for the Swiss defenseman, and with more development, the Coyotes have themselves a bonafide blueliner for years to come in Moser.
What do you think of Moser? Let us know in the comments section below. Next week is forward Barrett Hayton.
Mr. Evans is originally from Greenville, SC where he currently resides. Mr. Evans has been involved in hockey for the past 18 years now, following the Arizona Coyotes and St. Louis Blues. During his free time, Mr. Evans enjoys spending time with his family and girlfriend as well as being up in the mountains or taking pictures. Prior to joining The Hockey Writers, Mr. Evans previously worked for The Puck Authority, covering the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL and FanSided’s Bleedin’ Blue, covering the St. Louis Blues. You can find Mr. Evans on Twitter at @HaynesPEvans.