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30 in 30

Top prospects for Arizona Coyotes

Forwards Dylan Strome, Christian Dvorak could make roster with strong training camp

by Jerry Brown / Correspondent is providing in-depth prospect analysis for each of its 30 teams throughout August. Today, the Arizona Coyotes.

The Arizona Coyotes have struggled in recent seasons but have used high draft picks and moves at the NHL Trade Deadline to restock their farm system, creating one of the strongest in the League.

Forwards Max Domi, Anthony Duclair and Jordan Martinook and goalie Louis Domingue all played important roles as rookies last season. Forwards Dylan Strome and Christian Dvorak could do the same this season. The depth the Coyotes have also means Arizona likely will give extra time for defenseman Jakob Chychrun, the No. 16 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, to develop.

Here are the Coyotes' top five prospects, according to

1. Dylan Strome, C

How acquired: Selected with No. 3 pick of 2015 NHL Draft

Last season: Erie (OHL): 56 GP, 37-74-111

Strome almost made the Arizona roster out of training camp last season, and another big season in the Ontario Hockey League did nothing but bolster the Coyotes' confidence in him. Strome, 19, was captain for Erie and overcame the disappointment of being sent back to junior by having his second consecutive 100-plus point season.

General manager John Chayka said Strome has filled out his 6-foot-3 frame (the Coyotes list him at his draft weight of 185 pounds) and worked hard to improve his skating, the one knock on his scouting report before Arizona selected him with the third pick in 2015.

"He's done everything we've asked," Chayka said. "Now he has to prove it in camp."

The Coyotes hope Strome will be their Max Domi of this season -- another player who stayed in junior for an extra season and hit the ground running in the NHL.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

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2. Christian Dvorak, LW

How acquired: Selected with No. 58 pick of 2014 NHL Draft

Last season: London (OHL): 59 GP, 52-69-121

Dvorak, 20, scored a tournament-best seven goals in four games as captain for Memorial Cup champion London after he was the team's leading scorer (121 points in 59 games) during the OHL regular season. Like Strome, his skill set, vision on the ice and hockey IQ have the Coyotes eager to see him in the NHL.

Arizona wants Dvorak (6-foot, 187) to play center.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

3. Christian Fischer, RW

How acquired: Selected with No. 32 pick of 2015 NHL Draft

Last season: Windsor (OHL): 66 GP, 40-50-90; Springfield (AHL): 6 GP, 2-1-3

If Dvorak was the most impressive at Coyotes development camp, Fischer was its biggest surprise. He could end up back with Windsor, in the American Hockey League, or on the NHL roster.

Fischer, 19, has a big body (6-2, 214) and looked sharp at development camp. The Chicago native also plays right wing, a position where the Coyotes need help.

"Sometimes, the biggest part of our job involves where we think the player is and where the player thinks he is," director of player development Steve Sullivan said. "There is usually some disconnect. With him, there is no disconnect. He is the one player that is right on cue."

Projected NHL arrival: This season

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4. Jakob Chychrun, D

How acquired: Selected with No. 16 pick of 2016 NHL Draft

Last season: Sarnia (OHL): 62 GP, 11-38-49

The Coyotes spent the offseason rebuilding their defense, at the NHL and developmental level. After trading up to select Chychrun -- once regarded as a top-5 prospect -- at No. 16 in the draft, the 18-year-old jumped to the top of Arizona's development chart on defense.

The addition of defensemen Alex Goligoski and Luke Schenn should give Chychrun (6-2, 205) another year to develop, but he showed the size, skill and skating that have the Coyotes envisioning a player who will play plenty of minutes for years to come.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

5. Brendan Perlini, LW

How acquired: Selected with No. 12 pick of 2014 NHL Draft

Last season: Niagara (OHL): 57 GP, 25-20-45

Once considered to be the Coyotes' top prospect, Perlini's scoring numbers haven't matched up with the skill set they feel he has over the past two seasons.

But Perlini (6-2, 212) remains Arizona's top prospect at left wing, and Chayka remains high on him. The 20-year-old likely will start the season in the AHL.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season 

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