New-Look HP! Unfiltered Articles Stats Glossary Contact Us
Hockey Prospectus home

New Look Hockey Prospectus is available with new Premium Content!
Limited time offer: $9.99 for an entire year!

<< Previous Article
Top 10 Prospects 2013 (08/03)
<< Previous Column
Top 10 Prospects 2013 (08/03)
Next Column >>
Top 10 Prospects 2013 (08/14)
Next Article >>
Top 10 Prospects 2013 (08/14)

August 7, 2013
Top 10 Prospects 2013
Phoenix Coyotes

by Corey Pronman

Printer-
friendly
Contact
Author

Full list of NHL Organizational Rankings

Phoenix Coyotes Top 10 Prospects

1. Max Domi, Center
2. Brandon Gormley, Defense
3. David Rundblad, Defense
4. Henrik Samuelsson, Right Wing
5. Laurent Dauphin, Center
6. Connor Murphy, Defense
7. Lucas Lessio, Left Wing
8. Chris Brown, Right Wing
9. Mark Visentin, Goaltender
10. Yan-Pavel LaPlante, Center

Organizational Ranking: 16th

System Overview:

In years past, the Coyotes have had a system heavily loaded on defense and goaltending. In recent years, they have added skill and forward depth to their pipeline. Max Domi and Brandon Gormley are high-end prospects, and despite his North American struggles, David Rundblad is still a top talent. The depth in the Coyotes system is just average, if not below, but they have a pretty good top end.

---

1. Max Domi, Center
2011-12 Ranking: N/A
Date of birth: 03/02/1995
Age: 18
Height: 5'9''
Weight: 197
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 64 GP, 39 G, 87 P (London, OHL)
Acquired: First round, 12th overall in 2013 by Phoenix

Year in Review: Domi was one of the top offensive threats in the OHL, and he was a key component in London's league championship.

The Good: Domi is a highly-skilled player with many top-end offensive attributes. He is a great skater with high-end speed, agility, and overall quickness. His puck skills are also at a very high level, and he has the ability to create a lot of space for himself. However, Domi's best skill is his vision, as his offensive instincts allow him to create so many scoring chances, as well as set up his teammates consistently. He has his father's work level, as he will battle through checks and grind out shifts.

The Bad: Domi's size is his main concern. Despite a decent build, he will be pushed on a physical level in the NHL. His defense still needs work if he wants to remain at center.

Projection: He could be a top line forward.

---

2. Brandon Gormley, Defense
2011-12 Ranking: 1st
Date of birth: 02/18/1992
Age: 21
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 196
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 68 GP, 5 G, 29 P (Portland, AHL)
Acquired: First round, 13th overall in 2010 by Phoenix

Year in Review: Gormley started off the season a little slowly as he got used to the pro game, but around midseason, he started to display great play. He continues to emulate the traits of a top prospect.

The Good: Gormley possesses elite hockey sense, which has been evident throughout his prospect years. "He will never wow you, but he makes very few mistakes" is how one NHL source described him. Gormley's hockey IQ also gets described as "off the charts." His poise with the puck, his plus vision, and his overall defensive awareness really stand out. He has fine mobility, with good edge work and four-way movements.

The Bad: Gormley is not a very physical player, and he could use some more bulk. His first step quickness could improve as well.

Projection: He could be a top pairing defenseman.

---

3. David Rundblad, Defense
2011-12 Ranking: Graduated
Date of birth: 10/08/1990
Age: 22
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 190
Shoots: Right
Statistics: 50 GP, 9 G, 39 P (Portland, AHL)
Acquired: Trade from Ottawa, drafted first round, 17th overall in 2009 by St. Louis

Year in Review: Rundblad was an AHL All Star, but his lackluster NHL level play continued, as his all-around game has not developed enough.

The Good: Rundblad has simply tremendous offensive tools. He is a high-end, if not an elite player with the puck, and he can dazzle with his hands and ability to move the puck. His offensive brain is great, as he is a creative, instinctual player who can create a chance out of nothing. Rundblad is a decent to solid skater as well.

The Bad: Rundblad's issues have been and continue to be his defensive play and decision making. He simply makes too many mistakes with the puck and with his overall defensive coverage. He needs to continue to get stronger, and ideally be a little meaner on his checks.

Projection: Rundblad could be a good second pairing defenseman on a top power play unit.

---

4. Henrik Samuelsson, Right Wing
2011-12 Ranking: 3rd
Date of birth: 02/07/1994
Age: 19
Height: 6'3''
Weight: 208
Shoots: Right
Statistics: 69 GP, 33 G, 80 P (Edmonton, WHL)
Acquired: First round, 27th overall in 2012 by Phoenix

Year in Review: Samuelsson was a significant threat in the WHL, as he had flashes of dominant play, but he also had times that left you wanting.

The Good: Samuelsson is what one NHL source described as a "unique package of size and strength," especially for a player his age. He is big and very strong, showing high-end physical game abilities as a puck protector, and also in terms of being able to pressure and win the puck back from opponents. He is a skilled player as well, who at times flashed significant offensive upside this year in the WHL. Samuelsson has good puck skills and can make plays to his teammates, although his individual skills are better. He has a high-end shot, and he could score on NHL goalies from mid-distance right now. He has decent defensive ability, and he was a shorthanded threat this year.

The Bad: Skating is Samuelsson's main weakness, as he is a little sluggish out of the gates, and his overall quickness is underwhelming. His decisions could be a little better, too, as he can be behind the pace at times, while also taking bad penalties.

Projection: He could be a good second line forward.

---

5. Laurent Dauphin, Center
2011-12 Ranking: N/A
Date of birth: 03/27/1995
Age: 18
Height: 6'0''
Weight: 165
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 62 GP, 25 G, 57 P (Chicoutimi, QMJHL)
Acquired: Second round, 39th overall in 2013 by Phoenix

Year in Review: Dauphin was one of the top QMJHL rookies, where he had stretches of significant offensive output.

The Good: Dauphin is a very gifted offensive player with a ton of puck possession tools. He is a coordinated puck handler, as he has the hands and creativity to make a lot of plays. He is shifty, and he has quick hands and feet that make it hard for defenders to check him. Dauphin also sees the ice well; he regularly makes crisp, difficult distributions. His soft hands allow him to lift the puck well when passing it, and he works hard in both ends.

The Bad: Dauphin's physical game is his most notable area of weakness. He needs to put on a ton of bulk before turning pro. His defensive coverage could still use some work, too.

Projection: He could be a good second line forward.

---

6. Connor Murphy, Defense
2011-12 Ranking: 2nd
Date of birth: 03/26/1993
Age: 20
Height: 6'3''
Weight: 185
Shoots: Right
Statistics: 33 GP, 6 G, 18 P (Sarnia, OHL)
Acquired: First round, 20th overall in 2011 by Phoenix

Year in Review: Same old, same old for Murphy. He is a good player (when he is on the ice), but he was injured yet again.

The Good: Murphy is a smart two-way defender who plays a quiet yet effective game. He can line up against tough opponents and defend fairly well due to his size, above-average mobility, and defensive reads. Murphy has fine offensive instincts as well, showing the ability to be a good puck mover. Due to his speed, he can join the rush at a decent level. His footwork is impressive for his size, and he generates a powerful first step.

The Bad: Murphy cannot stay healthy, and it has gotten to the point where you just feel bad for the kid, because it has become routine to see his name associated with a significant injury.

Projection: He could be a good second pairing defenseman.

---

7. Lucas Lessio, Left Wing
2011-12 Ranking: 4th
Date of birth: 01/23/1993
Age: 20
Height: 6'1''
Weight: 202
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 35 GP, 19 G, 34 P (Oshawa, OHL)
Acquired: Second round, 56th overall in 2011 by Phoenix

Year in Review: Lessio looked like he was ready to have a breakout year and be a significant player for Canada at the World Juniors, but an injury knocked out a good chunk of his season.

The Good: Lessio is a fantastic skater. His ability in that regard is easily high end, arguably elite. OHL defensemen simply had no chance when he got going through the neutral zone. He has a strong frame, and he does not mind driving the net, drawing a lot of penalties in the process, while generating chances. Lessio's physical game has developed well, as he shows the ability to win battles and use his frame. He has offensive skill, and while he will not wow anyone, he has the puck skills to make plays and make the odd man miss. He also has a plus shot.

The Bad: Lessio's hockey sense is just average, as he is not an overly instinctive or creative player. You will not see him line up on the power play to slow the game down, or to be a starting point for puck movement. His defensive play could stand to get better as well.

Projection: He could be a good second line winger.

---

8. Chris Brown, Right Wing
2011-12 Ranking: 11th
Date of birth: 02/03/1991
Age: 22
Height: 6'1''
Weight: 207
Shoots: Right
Statistics: 68 GP, 29 G, 37 P (Portland, AHL)
Acquired: Second round, 36th overall in 2009 by Phoenix

Year in Review: Brown was very effective in his rookie pro year, displaying a great power game, and he earned a couple of games with the Coyotes.

The Good: Brown plays the game at a very high tempo. He is an above-average to plus skater, with very good quickness. He is also a strong winger, as he plays a direct, power game. Brown is aggressive on the forecheck, drives the net well, and lays out some crushing hits when he lines up his checks well. Brown also has a plus shot, as evidenced by his tilted goals to assists ratio this season, and he can wire some tough shots from a distance.

The Bad: Brown's pure offensive upside is a question mark. He can skate and shoot, but he lacks creativity, and his puck skills are below average.

Projection: He could be a third line winger.

---

9. Mark Visentin, Goaltender
2011-12 Ranking: 5th
Date of birth: 06/07/1990
Age: 21
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 205
Catches: Left
Statistics: 30 GP, .903 SV% (Niagara, OHL)
Acquired: First round, 27th overall in 2010 by Phoenix

Year in Review: Visentin went through some struggles in his rookie pro year, which were compounded by an injury in the second half.

The Good: Visentin is an athletic goalie with a high level of natural agility and reflexes. He has decent size, and he moves around very well in the net. He is a very competitive goalie, and he regularly makes the second or third save due to his effort level. Visentin is also an impressive puck handler for a goalie, and he can make plays as a puck mover.

The Bad: Visentin's reads and the technical aspects of his game still need some work in terms of squaring up pucks, reading the play, and absorbing pucks. Visentin's rebound control could be a little better as well.

Projection: He could be a below-average starting goaltender.

10. Yan-Pavel LaPlante, Center
2011-12 Ranking: N/A
Date of birth: 04/23/1995
Age: 18
Height: 6'0''
Weight: 178
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 18 GP, 5 G, 13 P (PEI, QMJHL)
Acquired: Third round, 62nd overall in 2013 by Phoenix

Year in Review: LaPlante missed most of the season due to injury, but he looked good in his limited time on the ice, including an impressive display at the Under-18 Championship.

The Good: LaPlante plays a high speed game, with some good offensive elements. He is a true plus skater who can accelerate very well. LaPlante is hard working at both ends, and he can pressure his checks well. On top of his speed and physicality, LaPlante has a decent-to-solid skill level, and while he will not wow anybody, he can make some plays.

The Bad: LaPlante's pure offensive instincts are a tad below average. Due to how little he played this year, there are question marks as to how good a player he is. He could be notably better or worse than his current projection.

Projection: He could be a quality third line forward.

---

The Next Five

11. Andy Miele, Center: Miele's defense has shown improvement at the AHL level, but at 5'9'', even with his great skill level, it has become questionable if he has enough elements to be a regular NHL player.

12. Tobias Rieder, Right Wing: Rieder is a good skater with skill, but his offensive consistency was not there this season. He has added good penalty killing ability to his repertoire, and that could be his fallback if he cannot score as a pro.

13. Chris Summers, Defense: Summers skates at a high-end level, and he can make defensive plays, but his ability with the puck has proven to be replacement level. He could be a low-end NHL defenseman next year.

14. Brendan Shinnimin, Center: Shinnimin is small, but he works hard, has above-average skill, and can kill penalties. His ability to handle the pro-level pace is an area that needs work.

15. Niklas Tikkinen, Defense: Tikkinen is a mobile defender who can move the puck really well. He is a converted forward, so the skill is there, but his defense still needs a lot of attention.

The Sleeper: James Melindy, Defense

Melindy is a big, mobile defenseman who may not put up a lot of points, but he thinks the game well at both ends. He turns pro next season, and if he transitions well, he could fast track.

---

Phoenix Coyotes Organizational Top 10

Players 22 or under as of 09/15/2013 or still considered a prospect as defined here.

1. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Defense
2. Max Domi, Center
3. Brandon Gormley, Defense
4. David Rundblad, Defense
5. Henrik Samuelsson, Right Wing
6. Laurent Dauphin, Center
7. Connor Murphy, Defense
8. Lucas Lessio, Left Wing
9. Chris Brown, Right Wing
10. Mark Visentin, Goaltender

There's not much to say about Ekman-Larsson that has not already been said. He is a legitimate number one defenseman, a star in the NHL who does everything you want a top D to do.

Corey Pronman is an author of Hockey Prospectus. You can contact Corey by clicking here or click here to see Corey's other articles.

0 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Top 10 Prospects 2013 (08/03)
<< Previous Column
Top 10 Prospects 2013 (08/03)
Next Column >>
Top 10 Prospects 2013 (08/14)
Next Article >>
Top 10 Prospects 2013 (08/14)

RECENTLY AT HOCKEY PROSPECTUS
Annoucements: Where Are The New Articles?
Zamboni Tracks: Who's That Guy? Special Edmo...
Hall Of Fame: My 2014 HHOF Inductees
On The Horizon: Four Nations And Junior "A" ...
A Closer Look: MacArthur-Turris-Ryan Keeping...


MORE BY COREY PRONMAN
2013-08-21 - Top 10 Prospects 2013: New York Islanders
2013-08-14 - Top 10 Prospects 2013: Columbus Blue Jackets
2013-08-14 - Top 10 Prospects 2013: Winnipeg Jets
2013-08-07 - Top 10 Prospects 2013: Phoenix Coyotes
2013-08-03 - Top 10 Prospects 2013: Philadelphia Flyers
2013-08-02 - Top 10 Prospects 2013: Dallas Stars
2013-08-01 - Top 10 Prospects 2013: New Jersey Devils
More...

MORE TOP 10 PROSPECTS 2013
2013-08-21 - Top 10 Prospects 2013: New York Islanders
2013-08-14 - Top 10 Prospects 2013: Columbus Blue Jackets
2013-08-14 - Top 10 Prospects 2013: Winnipeg Jets
2013-08-07 - Top 10 Prospects 2013: Phoenix Coyotes
2013-08-03 - Top 10 Prospects 2013: Philadelphia Flyers
2013-08-02 - Top 10 Prospects 2013: Dallas Stars
2013-08-01 - Top 10 Prospects 2013: New Jersey Devils
More...