During the strike-shortened 2013 season, the Arizona Coyotes made a deal with the Edmonton Oilers to acquire prospect Tobias Rieder. While there was not much made of the transaction at first, the Coyotes are now starting to see the payoff this season. Since making his debut last month, the German forward has provided a bright look at what Arizona fans have to look forward to in the team’s future.
Portland and Preseason
In his first year with Arizona’s AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates, Rieder put up impressive numbers. Rieder notched 28 goals and 48 points for Portland in 68 games played during the 2013-14 season. He got the opportunity to join the Coyotes in preseason to start the year, but was assigned back to Portland a week before the start of the season. Rieder continued to produce in Portland early on in the AHL season before Arizona made the call to bring him up to the NHL in November.
Early Success in the NHL
After scoring his first career NHL goal in his first game on November 2 against the Washington Capitals, Rieder made headlines on Monday night in Edmonton. Facing the team that originally selected him in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Rieder scored two shorthanded goals in the same penalty kill. The scores came 58 seconds apart and turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead for Arizona, which propelled them to a 5-2 win over Edmonton. Rieder’s shorthanded goals were the first two of the season for the Coyotes, who had not scored during a penalty kill since Antoine Vermette scored three shorthanded goals in a four-game stretch last season (from January 20-26, 2014).
Rieder has made a great first impression with Arizona, and both general manager Don Maloney and head coach Dave Tippett have taken notice of the rookie’s play. If what Rieder has shown so far is only a glimpse of what he is capable of down the road, then Coyotes fans have a lot to be excited about.
Charles Woodall-Pike is a journalist who writes about the Arizona Coyotes for The Hockey Writers.