The Phoenix Coyotes had a pretty deep blueline before acquiring Zbynek Michalek at the draft.
Now, it promises to get even deeper.
That’s the word out of the desert today as Brandon Gormely — the Shawinigan (QMJHL) blueliner taken 13th overall at the 2010 draft — told the Arizona Republic he’s ready to leap to the NHL.
“I feel like my game and where I’m at I’m ready to turn pro,” Gormley said. “I’m confident with where I’m at right now, and obviously this is a big summer here to give myself the best chance I can to crack the lineup.”
Gormley accomplished almost all of what junior hockey had to offer last season. He represented Team Canada at the 2012 Worlds, racked up a ton of individual awards and won the Memorial Cup with the Cataractes — and now he wants to test himself at the next level.
Just one problem: The aforementioned deep Coyotes defense.
The ‘Yotes already have Michalek, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Derek Morris, Rusty Klesla and Keith Yandle on the books, though Yandle has been shopped, most notably at the draft.
On the farm, Phoenix boasts a deep blueline prospect pool that includes Gormley, David Rundblad, Connor Murphy, Michael Stone and Maxim Goncharov.
(Oh yeah, David Schlemko also has a year left on his deal.)
As such, the Coyotes aren’t ready to pencil Gormley into their starting lineup. But they are ready to see him compete for a spot.
“I expect [Gormley] to come with a purpose of making our team,” coach Dave Tippett said. “He’s gone through all the experiences he needs to. He’s a proven winner, plays a very intelligent game. I think the maturity and just the physical maturity will help him as he goes along here.
“I expect him to put us in a position where we have a hard decision.”