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'Yotes Notes: Raanta Cleared to Play

Goalie Antti Raanta could be back in Arizona's net on Thursday at Boston

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

GLENDALE - Goalie Antti Raanta has been medically cleared to play and will accompany the team on its three-game road trip to Boston, Columbus and Chicago later this week.

At the very least, Raanta will dress for the three games; Arizona sent goalie Marek Langhamer back to the American Hockey League on Tuesday leaving just Raanta and Scott Wedgewood as the goalies on the roster.

"He's starting to feel better," Head Coach Rick Tocchet said after Tuesday's practice at Gila River Arena. "We finally had a good practice with him because he hasn't really had a practice with the team yet. We'll get another one tomorrow, and then we'll see for Thursday (vs. Boston)."

Raanta hasn't dressed for a game since suffering an upper-body injury after colliding with San Jose's Logan Couture during a game played Nov. 22. Wedgewood started all six games since then and stopped 171 of 185 shots in those games. That's a .924 save percentage.

• The Coyotes recalled defenseman Kyle Capobianco, 20, from the AHL on Monday and he practiced with the team on Tuesday.

With 13 points in 16 games, he co-leads the AHL in scoring by rookie defensemen, and ranks third on the Tucson Roadrunners behind only Dylan Strome (26) and Nick Merkley (21).

"He's played really well down there," Tocchet said. "We decided let's get him up here. Whether he plays or not, I'm not sure. We'll have to see if we get him in a game, but I think it's important for those guys to come up and travel with us, practice with us, see the pace that it takes to be in the NHL ... He's a puck-moving defenseman, he can join the rush. He thinks the game really well. He has all the attributes of a good defenseman to play in today's NHL." 

Video: Tocchet on Raanta, Hjalmarsson

Capobianco appeared to be the odd man out at Tuesday's practice with regards to the defensive pairings, but he's excited to be in the NHL for the first time. 

"It feels great," Capobianco said. "The atmosphere is really good here. I'm really excited to get things going and get on the road trip ... I feel I have an NHL-ready game, and I think I can play at the level."

Video: Capobianco 'Getting a Taste of NHL'

To make room on the roster for Capobianco, whom Arizona drafted 63rd overall in 2015, the Coyotes sent defenseman Joel Hanley back to the AHL.

 

• The Coyotes are flying to Boston on Wednesday morning and will practice in the afternoon on the campus of Boston University.

It will be a homecoming for rookie Clayton Keller, who played one season at BU before signing with the Coyotes last April.

"It's going to be really cool for me to practice there with the Coyotes," Keller said. "I'm sure a couple of those BU guys will watch the practice. Last year, me and my teammates watched a couple of NHL teams practice there. It's something the guys there get fired up for."

Keller, who led BU in scoring last season, looks back fondly on his one season at BU and Agganis Arena.

"That was an amazing year of hockey for me," Keller said. "We had a real good team and it was a lot of fun. It was definitely a year I'll never forget. It was truly awesome."

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