GLENDALE – A quick look at the Ontario Hockey League’s stats page reveals several of Arizona’s most promising prospects are producing impressive offensive numbers as the regular season winds down.
As of today, center Christian Dvorak leads the OHL with 51 goals and ranks second with 118 points in 56 games. He also leads the league in power-play goals (21), power-play assists (33) and game-winning goals (10), and he places fourth in face-off wins with 757.
Playing for the London Knights, Dvorak is the first-line center and a co-captain. On March 11, he became the first Knights player to score 50 goals in a season since New York Islanders captain John Tavares did so in 2008-09.
The Coyotes drafted Dvorak 58th overall in 2014 in what has turned out to be one of the steals of that draft.
Center Dylan Strome, whom Arizona picked third overall at last year’s draft, ranks fourth in the OHL with 103 points (36 goals, 67 assists) in just 53 games.
Playing a third season for the Erie Otters, Strome recently scored a sensational, back-handed goal against Niagara after maneuvering through and around four defenders en route to the net.
Strome is Erie’s team captain and he has led the Otters to a third consecutive 50-win season – a first in OHL history.
Perhaps most impressive, The Hockey News recently declared Strome as this year’s top prospect in its annual Future Watch rankings. The magazine also tabbed the Coyotes as the No. 1 team based on top-10 prospects and 21-and-under NHLers.
Right wing Christian Fischer is thriving in his first season in the OHL. He leads the Windsor Spitfires with 37 goals, 50 assists and 87 points in 63 games. His point total ranks 11th in the OHL and his 174 shots on goal rank fourth.
The Coyotes selected Fischer 32nd overall at last year’s draft. A veteran of the United States National Team Development Program, Fischer is quickly evolving into a top prospect.
Last but not least, center Ryan MacInnis is having another solid season playing for the Kitchener Rangers.
MacInnis, drafted 43rd overall in 2014, ranks 13th in the OHL with 80 points (38 goals, 42 assists) in 57 games. He is second behind only Dvorak in power-play goals (16) and third in game-winning goals with nine.
MacInnis scored a career-high four goals in one game vs. Peterborough back in October, and has seven multi-goal games this season.
Left wing Brendan Perlini, whom the Coyotes selected 12th overall at the 2014 Draft, is having just an OK season, by his standards, playing for the Niagara IceDogs. In 54 games, he has notched 41 points including 23 goals. Last season, he produced 60 points (26 goals, 34 assists) in just 43 games after overcoming a serious hand injury.
“Before anybody gets in a panic, it’s important to remember these are young players,” Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney recently told Today’s Slapshot. “The situation in Niagara has not been good for him (Perlini) this year, but we’re going to get our hands on him next year when he turns pro, whether that’s here or in Springfield (AHL). We still believe he has front-line NHL talent. It’s up to us to bring it out.”