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Hill Expected to Start in Goal Again for Coyotes vs. Stars

Rookie Adin Hill wants to build on impressive debut

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

GLENDALE - Adin Hill was the fifth goalie selected in the 2015 NHL Draft, but he's the first among those five to play an NHL game.

He'll likely play his second game on Thursday when the Coyotes host the Dallas Stars in the second game of a home-and-home series. Dallas won the opener, 3-1, on Tuesday.

Hill, 21, stopped 31 of 33 shots in his debut vs. Dallas and impressed many who witnessed it; NHL.com named him the No. 2 Star of the Game.

"He looked like he wanted to be in the net," Coyotes Head Coach Rick Tocchet said. "It was good."

With starter Antti Raanta still day-to-day because of a lower-body injury, Arizona's net appears to be Hill's for the time being. After Wednesday's practice, Tocchet was asked if Hill played well enough Tuesday to earn another start vs. Dallas on Thursday. 

"Yeah, I think so," Tocchet said.

Hill, who stands 6-foot-6 without skates, flashed his athleticism in his debut. That trait evolved out of necessity; Hill said he was much more of a "scrambly" goalie before a growth spurt increased his height by a foot between ages 15 and 17.

"I thought I made pretty good reads throughout the game," Hill said of his debut. "I felt confident. I felt like myself. I thought the team did an excellent job in front of me. D-men were boxing guys out and keeping the lanes clear so I could see the puck … It was my first NHL game and I feel like I can definitely play at the level. I had fun. I enjoyed myself out there. It was a good time despite the loss."

As expected, Hill was impressed by the skill level of the NHL players in a regular-season game, and he looks forward to the challenge of competing against them again and for a long time.

"Everyone on the ice obviously has a little bit higher caliber, they're more skilled and they see the ice better and make better plays," Hill said. "You definitely notice that, especially with guys like Jamie Benn out there. They make some pretty good plays that you don't necessarily expect, but it's just making those reads and being aware of it."

Arizona drafted Hill 76th overall in 2015. As for making it to the League so quickly, Hill said he just goes with the flow.

"My goal was just to be here as fast as I could," Hill said. "I didn't really put a time frame on it or anything. I just work as hard as I can everyday and try to get better."

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