It has been a very ugly 2020 for the Arizona Coyotes.
While the Arizona Coyotes started off the 2019-20 season well, they began sliding down the standings in a big way just shortly after going out and acquiring Taylor Hall from the New Jersey Devils in mid-December. They ended up making the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but only due to the fact the league changed the usual 16 team format to include 24 teams as a result of the season being cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just prior to heading to the Edmonton bubble for the postseason, controversy came as then General Manager John Chayka announced he would not be joining the team and was no longer a part of the Coyotes organization. This decision came just months after a previous big story broke, when the league announced they were stripping the Coyotes of their 2020 second-round pick as well as their 2021 first-round pick due to them conducting physical testing on 2020 draft-eligible players prior to the NHL Combine.
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This was a huge blow, as they were already without their first and third round picks at the 2020 Draft. Then, the biggest controversy of all, which came when they selected Mitchell Miller with their fourth-round ( No.111 overall) pick. At the time, it looked like the Coyotes got a potential steal with their first pick of the draft, as Miller had an impressive 2019-20 season in the USHL with the Tri-City Storm, posting 33 points in 44 games as a defenseman.
Recently, some horrible stories of Miller’s past have been brought to light, which included bullying and harassing a Black student who has Down Syndrome. This story was bad enough when it first became public, but was made even worse in the week following when it came out that he had little to no remorse for his past actions. The Coyotes ended up doing the right thing and renounced the pick, but have still been heavily criticized given that they knew of Miller’s past yet took him anyway, despite many other teams around the league having him on their “do not draft” board.
On top of all that, the Coyotes roster is a train wreck in itself. The hope is that newly named general manager Bill Armstrong will be able to turn them into a contender in the coming years, but fans will certainly have to be patient given the current roster along with the fact he was without so many picks at this year’s Draft and, as of now, does not have a first-rounder in 2021.
Still, he has the fortune of having a few great young prospects who he will look to build around in the upcoming years.
As mentioned in all of the previous top 8 prospects articles, any player who has played in more NHL games than any other league in a season, regardless of which season, will not be included on the list.
Unfortunately, this requirement was made as soon as I started this series, and while this wasn’t what it was intended to cause, means that the very talented Barret Hayton, who played in 20 games with the Coyotes and just five with the Tucson Roadrunners in the AHL this past season, will not be included. There will certainly be some who don’t like that, but rules are rules. With that being said, here are the top 8 prospects in the Arizona Coyotes organization…