The Arizona Coyotes made a bit of a surprise decision on Thursday, sending highly-touted prospect Max Domi back to his junior club in OHL London, per the Canadian Press.
Domi, 19, was the club’s first-round pick (13th overall) at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and made waves last preseason, appearing in four exhibition games while raising hopes he’d crack the Coyotes’ opening-night roster before getting sent back to London.
This year, Domi’s chances of making the NHL seemed even better. Arizona GM Don Maloney said the club made a “concerted effort” to give opportunities to its young skaters, adding he passed on signing veteran free agents so Arizona’s prospects would have a better chance of cracking the roster.
It’ll be interesting what kind of reaction this news will get. Domi has dominated junior hockey for each of the last two years, scoring 180 points in 125 regular-season contests, and many were eagerly anticipating watching him in a Coyotes uniform this season.
The Anaheim Ducks sent a slew of prospects and veterans home from camp on Monday.
Nick Ritchie, the big-bodied forward taken 10th overall at this year’s draft, was returned to his OHL team in Peterborough while prospects Stefan Noesen (21st overall, 2011) and Nic Kerdiles (36th overall, ’12) were assigned to AHL Norfolk.
Louis Leblanc, the 18th overall selection in 2009, was put on waivers for the purpose of also going to Norfolk.
On the veteran front, four longtime NHLers — brendan Bell, Steve MacIntyre, David Steckel and Brad Winchester — are headed to the Admirals as well while Brandon Yip, who spent last season in the Coyotes organization, has been released from his professional tryout.
Eventful last 24 hours for Travis Sanheim.
Sent packing from Flyers training camp yesterday, Sanheim — the club’s first-round pick (17th overall) at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft — signed his entry-level contract on Thursday, the club announced.
While he’ll spend this season in WHL Calgary, getting Sanheim signed is a welcome development for the Flyers. He, along with ’13 first-rounder Samuel Morin and former NCAA standout Shayne Gostisbehere, is expected to be a key part of Philly’s future blueline — one that looks pretty promising, based on this year’s camp (which Morin and Gostisbehere are still a part of.)
Though Sanheim was sent back to junior after just one preseason game, reports suggest he acquitted himself well. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound rearguard has been steadily on the rise; he made big jumps up various boards as he got closer to the draft, and wound up being the fourth blueliner selected, behind Florida’s Aaron Ekblad, Carolina’s Haydn Fleury and Dallas’ Julius Honka.