As the 2022-23 season is in full swing, we take a look around the world at some Arizona Coyotes prospects and what they’ve been up to in this week’s edition of Coyotes Prospect Update. This week we take a look at the team’s top pick from the 2022 NHL Draft, forward Logan Cooley. Currently playing for head coach Bob Motzko and the University of Minnesota, the Coyotes’ prized prospect is turning heads this season for the Golden Gophers.
Cooley has been on quite the roll lately with the Golden Gophers, registering 25 points on 10 goals and 15 assists in 19 games. He’s had plenty of highlight-reel plays so far in his young career including pulling off the famous “Michigan” style goal coincidently enough against Arizona State University at Mullett Arena, the same arena the Coyotes temporarily play in.
From Third Overall Selection to Today
Cooley’s path to becoming one of the Coyotes’ top prospects started well before the 2022 NHL Draft, where he was taken third overall. Instead, it started a year prior with the United States National Development Program where he recorded 75 points in 51 games on 27 goals and 48 assists during the 2021-22 season. That same season he put up 36 points on 13 goals and 23 assists in 24 games with the U.S. National Team Development Program in the United States Hockey League (USHL).
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It also included Cooley playing at the World Junior Championship U18 tournament where he recorded 10 points in six games, as well as six points in five games during the World Junior Championship U20 tournament. It was no secret that his success during the 2021-22 season was the main factor in him climbing the draft rankings, eventually surpassing the originally projected first-overall selection Shane Wright.
Continuing to Heat Up
After a strong draft year in which he launched himself from late first-round pick to third overall, Cooley announced his commitment to play for the University of Minnesota for the 2022-23 season. The decision to go the college route seems to have panned out well. He’s not showing signs of slowing down from last year’s success, instead, he’s continuing to heat up. He’s recorded a .157 shooting percentage in 19 games so far, and is one of the most talked about college prospects as of late, receiving high praise from multiple individuals.
Playing alongside other top prospects such as Jimmy Snuggerud (St. Louis Blues) and Matthew Knies (Toronto Maple Leafs) has helped Cooley’s development, as the trio has combined for an eye-catching 74 points in 59 combined games. He’s furthered his growth and has only gotten better as the season has gone on.
Career Full of Highlights Coming Soon
A short season full of highlights can only mean that a career full of highlights with the Coyotes is just on the horizon for Cooley. From the “Michigan” to two ridiculous highlight-reel goals the other night against Wisconsin, he seems to be able to do it all. He’s only grown more confident and comfortable the longer he’s been with the Golden Gophers, and that should translate quite nicely to the NHL one day. Whether that is in a year, or two years from now remains to be seen, but it’s not shocking to see he has all the makings necessary to be the NHL’s next star.
The future of Coyotes hockey looks to be in Tempe, Arizona and the next era of guys ushering in the new wave will be guys like Dylan Guenther, Conor Geekie, Josh Doan, and you guessed it, Logan Cooley. General manager Bill Armstrong has done a heck of a job of righting the ship that former GM John Chayka wronged, as he’s rebuilt the team through the past two drafts. Arizona’s bright future sits on the horizon and for most of their prospects such as Cooley, they have time to grow and develop. Fans should be excited for this next group of Yotes coming soon, and maybe even another “Michigan” in the near future.