Say this about the Arizona Coyotes — they’re going to be exciting to watch.
After stockpiling young talent via the draft and trades, Arizona will open the campaign with an incredibly youth-laden roster — fitting for a team run by the NHL’s youngest GM, John Chayka.
First, the newbies: 18-year-old Jakob Chychrun (16th overall, ’16), 19-year-old Dylan Strome (third overall, ’15), 19-year-old Lawson Crouse (11th overall, ’15) and 20-year-old Christian Dvorak (58th overall, ’14) are all set to make their big league debuts when the Coyotes open against Philly on Saturday.
They’ll be joined by the “old guard” — Max Domi (21 years old), Anthony Duclair (21) and Laurent Dauphin (21), all of whom have varied experience at the NHL level.
It’s an attention-grabbing bit of news from the desert, to say the least.
Head coach Dave Tippett will have his work cut out for him this season. Chychrun, Strome, Crouse and Dvorak are all making the leap directly from junior hockey, and there’s bound to be a significant learning curve ahead.
That said, Tippett seems ready for the challenge.
Aside from being regarded as one of the NHL’s best coaches, Tippett gained some valuable experience coaching younger players at the World Cup, where he was on Todd McLellan’s Team North America staff.
“Young or old, you just want good players,” Tippett said following the tourney, per TSN. “And so many of the young players today are very good players.”