Arizona Coyotes Goaltending Options at 2023 NHL Draft

Entering the 2023 NHL Draft, the Arizona Coyotes will have some positions to shore up. One position they could look to add some depth to is goaltending. In recent years it seems the Coyotes have produced some great goaltenders, with the likes of Mike Smith, Darcy Kuemper, Antti Raanta, and Adin Hill; there’s no shortcoming of talent. While none of those players are on the team any longer, they could look to the draft to add another goalie.

Related: 2023 NHL Draft Guide

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Heading to Nashville, the Coyotes have 12 picks across the board, which could mean adding a goaltender to the roster. While the 2023 NHL Draft has been classified as forward-heavy, there are a few netminders that stand out. Some include Michael Hrabal, Carson Bjarnason, and Trey Augustine. While there’s no guarantee the Coyotes will take a goaltender at the draft, it’s fair to say they could given their current depth at goalie.

Carson Bjarnason

The first goaltender were looking at as a potential option is Manitoba native, Carson Bjarnason. Bjarnason played for the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League (WHL) this past season. Throughout 47 games, he posted a save percentage (SV%) of .900 and a goals-against average (GAA) of 3.08. While these aren’t jaw-dropping numbers, it’s good to note that the Wheat Kings missed the postseason, finishing with a 26-33-9 record.

When he’s in net, Bjarnason has elite puck-tracking ability; he also has excellent body control along with positioning himself well. He isn’t flashy, but he has great quickness and excellent mechanics that could get him to the NHL someday. Currently, he has been ranked to go anywhere from the second round to the early third round. With the Coyotes having five picks across the second and third rounds, they could look to take a swing at him.

Michael Hrabal

Hrabal is the next netminder that could be on his way to the desert. During this past season, he played for the Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League (USHL). He recorded a .908 SV% and a 2.86 GAA. One of the main reasons he could go high in this year’s draft is his large frame, where he stands at 6-foot-6. 

Hrabal has great speed and agility when in the crease; that’s likely due to his outstanding athleticism. He has great post security, preventing the opposition from driving the puck in the corner. He has been ranked as the second-best goaltender in North America behind Bjarnason, yet he could be the first goaltender off the board purely due to his size. He announced his commitment to the University of Massachusetts for the 2023-24 season, which will be big for his development.

Trey Augustine

Along with Hrabal and Bjarnason, Augustine has a chance to be the first netminder off the board. During the past season, he played with the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP). Mostly playing with the U18 team, he registered a .926 SV% and a 2.13 GAA. He also finished the season off with a staggering 29-1-2 record. The Michigan native also played for the United States during the World Junior Championship, registering a .891 SV% and a 2.85 GAA.

Trey Augustine USNTDP
Trey Augustine, USNTDP (Rena Laverty / USA Hockey’s NTDP)

While Augustine does lack height at 6-foot-1, he has lots of intangibles you like to see from a goalie. He has excellent reflexes and moves around the crease very effectively. His ability to track the puck through traffic is first-class and has a terrific glove hand. He is already committed to the University of Michigan State, where he’ll play next year.

Despite Weak Pool, Coyotes Have Options

The good thing about the 2023 NHL Draft is the Coyotes can go so many different ways. They could take two forwards with picks six and 12, or they could opt to take two defensemen. Regardless of who they take with their selections, it’s granted they could take a goaltender in the latter half of the draft. They have 10 picks through the second and sixth rounds, which could open the possibility of one of the listed goaltenders heading to the desert. Nonetheless, it will be a thrilling, exciting, and eventful draft for the Coyotes in Nashville.

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