Coyotes add sugar and kerfoot to increase offensive power

Following the NHL draft, free agency and other off-season changes, examines where each team stands in preparation for the 2023-24 regular season, which begins October 10. Today the Arizona Coyotes say:

Season 2022-23: 28-40-14, seventh in Central Division; missed the Stanley Cup playoffs

Important arrivals

Jason SugarQ: The 31-year-old signed a one-year deal on July 1. Zucker had 48 points (27 goals, 21 assists) in 78 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins last season and is a five-time goalscorer with 20 goals. … Sean DurziD: The 24-year-old was drafted on June 24 in a deal with the Los Angeles Kings for a second-round pick in the 2024 NHL draft. Durzi had 38 points (nine goals, 29 assists) in 72 games last season, his second in the NHL, and one goal in six playoff games. … Nick BjugstadQ: The 30-year-old signed a two-year contract on July 1 after recording 29 points (17 goals, 12 assists) in 78 regular season games for the Coyotes and Edmonton Oilers and three goals in 12 postseason games for Edmonton last season. … Alexander KerfootQ: The 28-year-old signed a two-year deal on July 1. Kerfoot had 32 points (10 goals, 22 assists) in 82 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs and two goals in 11 playoff games last season. … Troy StecherD: The 29-year-old signed a one-year deal on July 1. On March 3, Arizona Stecher joined the Calgary Flames. Last season he had 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) in 81 games.

Video: Jason Zucker talks about signing with Coyotes

Important departures

Christian FischerQ: Signed a one-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings on July 2. Fischer scored 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists) in 80 games last season. … Zack KassianQ: Kassian was an unrestricted free agent after the Coyotes bought out the final season of his contract. He scored twice and was minus 18 in 51 games last season. … Patrick NemethD: Nemeth, another player whose contract was bought out, had five assists and was down-7 in 75 games. … Connor MackeyD: Signed a one-year contract with the New York Rangers on July 1. Mackey had seven points (three goals, four assists) in 30 games for the Flames and Coyotes last season.

At the threshold

Logan CooleyQ: The 19-year-old was the No. 3 draft pick in the 2022 NHL draft and had 60 points (22 goals, 38 assists) in 39 games as a freshman at the University of Minnesota last season, second in the NCAA Division I to forward Adam Fantillis’ 65 for the University of Michigan. Cooley finished second with 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in seven games for the USA at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championships behind Canadian forward Connor Bedard (23 points; nine goals, 14 assists). … Conor GeekieQ: The 19-year-old, ranked No. 11 in 2022, had a career-best 35 goals and 77 points for Winnipeg of the Western Hockey League last season. Geekie’s 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 19 playoff games helped Winnipeg advance to the WHL Finals, a five-game loss to Seattle. He has a shot at a top-nine finish with the Coyotes, but if he’s not ready, he’ll have to play another season in the WHL. … josh doanQ: The 21-year-old, who was selected in the second round (#37) of the 2021 NHL Draft, made his professional hockey debut last season with six points (three goals, three assists) in 14 AHL games. The son of Coyotes icon Shane Doan, he had 38 points (16 goals, 22 assists) in 39 games as a sophomore at Arizona State University. … Jan JenikQ: The 22-year-old has five points (four goals, one assist) in 17 NHL games. Jenik, who was selected in the third round (#65) of the 2018 NHL Draft, had 23 points (seven goals, 16 assists) in 30 games for Tucson in the AHL last season.

What else do you need

depth rating. A team that averaged 2.74 goals per game last season and ranked 27th in the NHL needs Zucker and Kerfoot to add clout to their planned second tier. They also need a 23-year-old striker Barrett Hayton making a big leap after averaging NHL career-highs in goals (19), assists (24) and points (43) in 82 games last season.

Video: ANA@ARI: Hayton drags toe and scores the winning goal in overtime

You said so

“If you look at where we are as an organization, it’s something to be proud of, not only because of the many picks we’ve accumulated, but also because of the quality of the team that’s on the ice.” The timeline was tremendously positive . Now we can take another step to become a better team. We’re making this move with a boatload of draft picks and a lot of talent coming our way.” – Bill Armstrong, general manager of the Coyotes

fantasy focus

Durzi ranks 29th in the NHL among defensemen in power play points (31; three goals, 28 assists) over the past two seasons combined, despite playing mostly in the second unit. Durzi could now see his man advantage minutes and performance skyrocket from constant contact with high-scoring forwards Clayton Keller And Nick Schmaltzgiving the defensive fantasy sleeper upside and a realistic shot at being in the top 20 players at his position this season. Pete Jensen

Planned lineup

Clayton Keller-Barrett Hayton-Nick Schmaltz

Alexander Kerfoot – Travis Boyd – Jason Sugar

Matias Maccelli — Nick Bjugstad — Lawson Crouse

Liam O’BrienJack McBainDylan Gunther

JJ MoserVictor Soderstrom

Juuso Valimaki – Troy Stecher

Sean Durzi- Josh Brown

Karel Vejmelka

Connor Ingram

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