The Arizona Coyotes are in contract negotiations with restricted free agents Tobias Rieder and Connor Murphy, according to general manager John Chayka.
— Today’s Slapshot (@TodaysSlapshot) July 23, 2016
Chayka confirmed to media after the signing of defenseman Luke Schenn that the organization believes that both RFAs will be signed prior to the start of the 2016-17 season. He noted that talks with defenseman Connor Murphy are farther along than they are with forward Tobias Rieder.
Murphy just completed his third season as a pro, putting up career-highs with six goals, 11 assists and 17 points. He saw a lot of time alongside elite offensive defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
He was drafted by the ‘Yotes with the 20th overall pick in the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. In 181 NHL games, dating back to the 2013-14 season, he has accumulated 32 points and a minus-17 rating. In 36 AHL games, he has totaled 13 assists. He hasn’t played in the AHL since his rookie year.
In this year’s World Championships, Murphy led all defenseman on Team USA in goals with three and was named one of the top three players on the club. He finished the tournament with five points in 10 games.
Rieder’s contract negotiations aren’t going as smoothly as Murphy’s. The German forward is coming off of his first full season in the NHL, in which he netted 14 goals and 37 points in 82 games.
Since his rookie campaign in 2013-14, he has skated in 154 NHL games, tallying 27 goals and 58 points. He has racked up 32 goals and 53 points in 73 games.
The talented offensive forward was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers with the 114th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He was traded to the Coyotes in March of 2013 in exchange for Kale Kessy, who was drafted just three selections ahead of Rieder in 2011.