Coyotes Tough News Allows Prospect to Show What He Can Do

October 18, 2022  (2:38)

In the first game of the new 2022-23 NHL season, Arizona Coyotes forward Nick Schmaltz got injured.

Since he was on the first line with Clayton Keller and Travis Boyd, this hurts the Coyotes offensive attack. Last season he accumulated 23 goals, 36 assists in 63 games. He had missed 19 games due to injuries.
So, how do the Coyotes plan to address this void?
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It seems that prospect Dylan Guenther could forego his third year of his entry-level contract if he continues his excellent play thus far.
In his first regular season NHL game, Guenther gathered an assist on Josh Brown's first tally of the year.

According to his head coach Andre Tourigny,
He's not a guy who is bouncing right and left, Tourigny said. He's pretty composed and stable.

The first shift, he was a little bit nervous, but quickly he settled and his calm and his poise took over and he played well. He had a couple chances, made good plays. He was sound in his positioning and he was alright.

Guenther is just 19 years old and if he doesn't remain on the Coyotes roster, he cannot be sent to the AHL Tucson Roadrunners to further develop. He would be sent back to the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL.
The downside of that senario is, will he become discouraged on a team like the Arizona club who is obviously tanking to get a shot at drafting Connor Bedard?
The other factor in throwing Guenther into the 'deep water', would be rushing prospects too quickly can destroy their confidence.
It's a dilemma that the team will need to resolve, but they have time to figure it out. With Schmaltz on the LTIR, it may be an ideal time to give the young prospect a shot at being a full-time NHL player.
In his first game, Guenther was in the proper position defensively most of the night. He made smart plays with and without the puck. He may not be ready to be a game-changer for the Coyotes, but he's not going to hurt them, and that is a bigger deal than most realize for such a young player stepping up to this complex, demanding and lightning-quick level.
Time will tell, but if this young man stays in the NHL, he has the potential of being a 20-goal scorer. He has a terrific shot from the blueline, and seems to be fitting right in thus far.
Time will tell. In the meantime, Guenther is having the time of his life.
Coyotes Tough News Allows Prospect to Show What He Can Do

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