Arizona Coyotes Prospect Report: Roadrunners Running In Circles


The Arizona Coyotes had another rough week in the NHL and so did the Tucson Roadrunners. But some of the Coyotes’ top junior prospects had a much more successful run recently.

With the NHL season nearly halfway through it’s season and the Arizona Coyotes’ speeding towards a lottery pick in this year’s draft, Coyotes fans have had little to cheer about recently.

Between goaltending mishaps and persistent defensive breakdowns, things haven’t looked too bright.

But things are always darkest before the dawn and if the Arizona Coyotes prospects from the World Juniors tournament were any indication of the years to come, things are about to get really bright.

Tucson Roadrunners (0-3-1-0 over last week, 4th in Pacific)

The Roadrunners had a tough week after their holiday break, dropping all four games on their slate.

In their doubleheader against San Antonio, the Runners lost 5-2 and 4-2. In the first loss, Kevin Connauton tallied a goal, a assist and 2 penalty minutes, while other notable Coyotes prospects Tyler Gaudet and Conor Garland were each boxed for single minor penalties. Goaltender Justin Peters was pulled halfway through the game after dropping 3 goals on 16 shots.

The second game against the Rampage didn’t have a good result either, but some prospects did nab a few points in the effort. Christian Fischer and Tyler Gaudet each grabbed a goal while Connauton, Laurent Dauphin and Michael Bunting all got assists. Marek Langhamer made 15 stops on 19 shots.

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In Friday night’s game, Adin Hill got the start making 36 saves on 39 attempts. Kyle Wood and Christian Fischer each had goals, but the Roadrunners dropped the game in OT.

Both Connauton and Dauphin have been recalled to the Arizona Coyotes, while the Roadrunners dropped another game to San Jose Sunday night as well, 5-2. Stefan Fournier and Lindsay Sparks provided the Tucson scoring.

Christian Fischer, who scored on Friday night, now leads the team with 12 goals to go along with 12 assists. He’s quietly making the same case for a call-up that Brendan Perlini did earlier in the season.

World Junior Championship Prospects

Where Coyotes prospects struggled in higher leagues, other prospects shined. One such group of prospects were the Arizona Coyotes’ World Junior Championship participants.

Arguably the Coyotes’ top prospect and biggest 2016 NHL draft steal, Clayton Keller shined in the World Junior Championship, recording 11 total points over 7 games in route to Team USA’s gold medal win.

Keller was the 3rd highest scorer in the tournament.

Just one point behind Keller was Dylan Strome, who took home silver and scored 10 points over the same period of games while serving as Canada’s captain.

Both Strome and Keller were in the top 20 face-off percentage leaders.

The one other Arizona Coyotes prospect to participate in World Juniors was Jens Lööke who recorded two points (1G, 1A) over his 7 games in the tournament, including a game winning goal.

Next: Is Shane Doan a Hall of Famer?

The Arizona Coyotes are having a season much like the last four.

But if the World Junior Championships showed anything to the hockey world, let alone to Coyotes fans, the Arizona Coyotes have 2 of the top 5 junior level prospects in hockey.