The Arizona Coyotes have announced that centre Barrett Hayton will return to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and spend the 2018/19 season in the OHL.
According to an official press release, General Manager John Chayka made the announcement that will see the 18-year-old spend another year honing his skills in major juniors.
Hayton was a surprise selection by the Arizona Coyotes in this year’s entry draft, going fifth overall despite the likes of Filip Zadina still being available.
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Hayton is viewed as having a promising future within the Coyotes organisation, particularly due to him playing in the centre role.
However, despite the team going 0-2-0 in their opening two games, the 6-foot-1, 190lbs Canadian didn’t see any ice time with the team.
Hayton will now return to the familiar environment of the Greyhounds junior organisation – with whom he has spent the previous two seasons leading up to his drafting.
During his draft year, Hayton was virtually a point-per-game player in the OHL – registering 60 points (23 goals, 39 assists) in 63 regular season games.
Hayton also impressed late in the season when he had 21 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 24 games during the Greyhounds’ playoff run.
He was awarded the Bobby Smith Trophy as the Scholastic Player of the Year in the OHL during his draft year.
He was also named a part of Team Canada during the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup in Alberta, helping lead the team to the gold medal.
Hayton has a positive future ahead, but does require some fine-tuning in his game and should look to dominate at the junior level this year to truly take the next step towards making the NHL permanently.
What do you think Coyotes fans? Will Hayton outperform his draft year? Will he make the NHL permanently next season or will it take a little bit longer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!