Despite last season’s acquisition of highly-regarded Swedish defenseman David Rundblad, 20-year-old blueliner Brandon Gormley has become the Phoenix Coyotes top prospect and headlines an ever improving group in the fall edition of the club’s Top 20 prospects.
Gormley, along with Rundblad, 2011 first-round pick Connor Murphy, and fringe NHL players such as Michael Stone, Chris Summers, and Maxim Goncharov are the leaders of a unit that ranks as one of the best groups of defensive prospects in the NHL. For an organization that has already developed young studs like Keith Yandle and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, defensemen continue to be the building blocks of a team that has enjoyed tremendous success under general manager Don Maloney and head coach Dave Tippett.
The Coyotes’ depth at forward was fairly thin the past few years but there have been significant improvements thanks to smart acquisitions through the draft and free agency. Lucas Lessio, a 2011 second-round pick, and Henrik Samuelsson, a 2012 first-round choice, are the two forwards who have the most potential to make an impact in the NHL, while free agent signings Andy Miele and Brendan Shinnimin are two intriguing prospects because of their ability to rack up points in bunches.