The Arizona Coyotes have yet to win a game this season, a task that seems even more daunting considering the defending back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning are on deck tonight. To add insult to injury — quite literally — the team is battling a number of injuries following Monday’s matchup against the Florida Panthers, and needs to call upon new faces to make an immediate impact, even if it’s just in the short term.
Forward Alex Galchenyuk and defenseman Kyle Capobianco have been on injured reserve since early October, but that list increased exponentially after goalie Carter Hutton, defenseman Conor Timmins, and forwards Ryan Dzingel and Nick Schmaltz were all listed on Arizona’s injury report prior to Thursday night’s game in Tampa. Schmaltz is currently listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury, but the rest are expected to miss at least a few weeks.
As such, the Coyotes recalled defenseman Cam Dineen, forward Barrett Hayton, and goalie Ivan Prosvetov, all of whom are likely to see at least some ice time during the remainder of Arizona’s road trip, especially considering the team plays three games over its next four days. Their opponents? The Lightning, Washington Capitals, and Carolina Hurricanes.
With all of that said, here’s what fans can expect from the Coyotes’ newest arrivals over the next few weeks.
Prosvetov Gets the Nod Against Tampa Bay on Thursday
Prosvetov was drafted 114th overall by Arizona in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, and though he’s seen limited time at the NHL level, he’s off to a solid start with the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Tucson Roadrunners this season. In three games this season, the 22-year-old Russian has posted a goals-allowed average (GAA) of 1.34, and a save percentage (SV%) of .944. His numbers were far more modest last season, with a 3.54 GAA and .895 SV% in 18 games, a slight decrease from a 2.88 GAA and .909 SV% with the club during 2019-20.
Prosvetov doesn’t boast much NHL experience, either, considering he’s appeared in just three games, with just one start. His total NHL time on ice equates to 130 minutes, and he posted a 4.15 GAA and .824 SV% over that span, but remember, that’s an incredibly small sample size. His lone start came in April of last season against the Colorado Avalanche, where he allowed three goals on 19 shots.
Prosvetov was named to the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) third All-Star team in 2018-19 after posting a 2.94 GAA and .910 SV% in 53 games. He performed even better in the playoffs, recording a 2.38 GAA and .930 SV% in 12 appearances.
Hayton Brings Some NHL Experience, Looks to Build on Strong Preseason
Hayton has appeared in 34 games over the past two seasons for the Coyotes, tallying seven points and a plus-1 rating over that span. He won exactly 50 percent of his faceoffs last season (40/80), and will likely be called upon to help immediately, given the losses of both Schmaltz and Dzingel. In Wednesday’s practice, the 21-year-old Canadian skated with Lawson Crouse and Clayton Keller, per Craig Morgan.
Hayton, selected fifth overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, has appeared in four games with the Roadrunners this season, recording one assist and six penalty minutes over that span. Last year he played 26 games with Tucson, notching 10 points (six goals, four assists), while appearing in one playoff contest.
He’s no stranger to success, either, as he won a gold medal with Team Canada in the 2020 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, and was named to the tournament’s All-Star team, while also being recognized as a top-3 player on the team. He was also named the OHL Scholastic Player of the Year in 2017-18 after posting 66 points in 63 games with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, and the following season, in 2018-19, he was captain of the team while notching an absurd 66 points in just 39 games.
Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong was hoping to use Hayton sparingly this season, however, there may be no choice but to play him more frequently if the injury bug continues to bite.
Dineen Will Make His NHL Debut if he Plays
Dineen has yet to appear in the NHL, having played the past four seasons with the Roadrunners, and has recorded three points in four games this season. His best season in the AHL came in 2019-20, when he notched 14 points on five goals and nine assists in 57 games, but he has been a consistent presence on the blue line, and should fill in admirably if he sees any ice time with the Coyotes.
The 23-year-old American was taken in the third round, 68th overall, in 2016, and also spent time with the OHL’s North Bay Battalion (2015-2018) and Sarnia Sting (2017-18). His best season came after a 59-point effort in 68 games during the 2015-16 OHL season, and he was subsequently named to the OHL’s First All-Rookie team.
Though expectations certainly aren’t high should he make his NHL debut, he has demonstrated good vision, and has the ability to make plays when called upon.
Next Man Up
Set to face a number of NHL juggernauts in the next few days, fans should be excited to see some of these new faces on the ice as the Coyotes continue to search for their first win of the season. No matter the outcome, Arizona’s injury present injury situation give each of these players an opportunity to make an impression at the NHL level, and just may provide fans a small glimpse into the team’s future.
Who are you most interested in seeing hit the ice? Share in the comments below!
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A die-hard hockey fan in the desert, and proud Iowa State alum. Detroit Red Wings and Arizona Coyotes contributor for The Hockey Writers.