GLENDALE – Always looking to bolster the organization’s depth at center ice, the Coyotes this week added free agent Tyler Gaudet to the mix by signing him to a three-year entry-level contract.
Gaudet, 20, is playing for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the Ontario Hockey League. He’s a big center at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, and he’s showing a nice scoring touch this season with 11 goals and 13 assists in 17 games. He’s also plus-11.
“I really look at his game as a game that will fit with us,” Coyotes Assistant General Manager Brad Treliving said. “He’s a smart player and he’s a very reliable player defensively. We’re excited to have him.”
Gaudet, 20, will finish the season in the OHL and he could join the Coyotes’ American Hockey League team after the OHL season. Until then, he plans to put his new contract out of mind and keep playing the way he’s played up until now.
“I don't want to think differently,” Gaudet told the Pembroke Daily Observer. “I just want to do what I've been doing, what's allowed me to be signed in the first place. I don't want to change anything like that. I just want keep improving and be a better hockey player.”
He added: “I'd really love to be a part of (the Coyotes). I've done a lot of research on them and their organization sounds really great and they've really reached out to me and made me feel welcome to be there. It's a great organization. I'd be proud to be there.”
Sheldon Keefe is Gaudet’s head coach in the OHL.
“Coaching Tyler over the last three seasons, it’s clear to me that he is most deserving of an NHL contract,” Keefe told the Greyhounds team website. “… He loves the game and worked every day to get better at it… I believe this is just the beginning for Tyler.”