You know how they warn against rushing prospects into the NHL?
Well, the Arizona Coyotes should be an interesting team to watch in that regard.
“We’re trying to fast-track some people to the NHL,” coach Dave Tippett conceded at the team’s recent development camp, per The Arizona Republic.
Said GM Don Maloney: “We’ve got some unreal talent coming. We just have to hurry it along.”
Top prospects include forwards Max Domi, Anthony Duclair, Dylan Strome and Christian Dvorak. Domi is the eldest of those four, at just 20 years old.
Now, the optimist will say that the NHL is a young man’s league, where youth is actually an advantage, not a disadvantage.
But the skeptic will argue that the Coyotes have tried this before, and it didn’t turn out so well.
You’ll recall the Wayne Gretzky-coached teams that featured top draft picks Mikkel Boedker (eighth overall in 2008), Viktor Tikhonov (28th overall in 2008), and Kyle Turris (third overall in 2007).
Today, only Boedker remains with the club. And he first needed to be returned to the minors for more seasoning. The consensus, in hindsight, is that the Coyotes forced their prospects to bite off more than they could chew.
Not that there’s anything wrong with giving the youngsters a chance. If they’re ready, they’re ready.
The question the Coyotes will have to ask come the start of next season is, are they really ready?