GLENDALE – With the NHL season on hiatus because of the Winter Olympics, Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney will scout some of the franchise’s top prospects this weekend.
“I think it’s important to get a sense of what we have in the system and to see the progress being made rather than reading about it in reports,” Maloney said.
First up, Maloney will watch forward Max Domi play for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League against the Sarnia Sting on Thursday night. The Coyotes, of course, selected Domi with the 12th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and he nearly made the team at this season’s training camp.
Instead, he returned to London for a third season and has been tearing it up with 87 points in 64 games.
“Max is performing as expected with regards to his statistics, but it’s really more about how is he playing,” Maloney said. “He can get points in his sleep now at that level so I want to see how his game is when he’s without the puck and if there is a consistent compete level there.”
Maloney plans to also scout prospects Tyler Gaudet, Laurent Dauphin and Yan Pavel Laplante. After that, he will go to Portland, Maine, to watch the team’s American Hockey League affiliate play a few games before the Coyotes re-assemble for practice on Feb 19.
The NHL roster freeze is in effect until Feb. 23 and the League’s trade deadline is March 5.
There will likely be lots of moves around the League as teams cement rosters for the playoffs.
“We’re not looking to ‘sell,’” Maloney said when asked if the Coyotes would be ‘buyers’ or ‘sellers’ at the trade deadline. “We’d like to add. But right now there are 25 other teams in the League in the exact same situation and there are only five teams that look to be prepared to move some players out for younger assets.”