A couple of Coyotes rookies — defensemen Connor Murphy and Brandon Gormley — are earning praise from head coach Dave Tippett.
“I like the way both of them play,” Tippett said, per azcentral. “They’ve come up, and they defend quick. They play the game quick and defend quick. They think the game well. Young or old or whatever, I like the quickness they play with.”
Murphy, 21, and Gormley, 22, were both first-round picks, so relatively big things were always expected of them. Still, their emergence leaves the Phoenix blue line — which also features Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Keith Yandle — looking pretty good for the future.
Just glancing over the Coyotes’ roster situation, per CapGeek…
…and one would have to wager pending UFA Derek Morris won’t be back next season.
Michael Stone, 23, is another young d-man with a bright future. Chris Summers, 26, also seems to have made progress after a good amount of development time in the AHL.
For a budget-conscious club like Phoenix, getting contributions from young players on affordable contracts is extremely important.