Coyotes Rebuild Continues with Goaltender Signing

The Arizona Coyotes have signed goaltender Jon Gillies to a one-year, two-way contract, worth $750,000 at the NHL level and $150,000 at the AHL level.

Originally a third-round pick (75th overall) by the Calgary Flames in the 2012 NHL Draft, Gillies played 20 games in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues and the New Jersey Devils last season. His numbers, to be respectful, were not that stellar. He went 3-10-2 with a 3.70 goals against average and a .887 save percentage. However, he did find success elsewhere.

His numbers have been solid for the minor leagues, but thus far, the majors have proven to be a step above the ladder. In four AHL appearances between Providence and Lehigh Valley, Gillies went 3-1 with a 1.76 GAA, and a .939 save percentage. In 32 career NHL games with the Flames, Blues, and Devils, Gillies is 7-15-3 with a 3.31 GAA and an 893 save percent.

In 169 career AHL games with Providence, Lehigh Valley, Utica, and Stockton, Gillies scored 73-63-20 with a 2.87 GAA, a .906 save percentage, and nine shutouts.

Karel Vejmelka will likely get the starting role for the Coyotes, while Ivan Prosvetov will battle Gillies for the backup role. David Tendeck is also possible, but given that he has minimal experience above the ECHL, the minors will likely be the best fit for the 22-year-old.

The Coyotes are in the midst of a significant rebuild that began at the NHL Draft.

Arizona used the No. 3 pick on center Logan Cooley, an 18-year-old out of Pennsylvania, and acquired Conor Geekie, the 11th selection, in a trade with the San Jose Sharks for the No. 27 pick and two second-rounders (No. 34 and No. 45). The Coyotes acquired the 29th overall pick (Maveric Lamoreux) in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers, which sent bruising forward Zack Kassian to The Grand Canyon State. The trade also included a 2024 third-round selection and a 2025 second-round pick.

Unfortunately for the Coyotes, Geekie was checked into the boards, suffered a lower-body injury on the first day of development camp this week, and was ruled out for the remainder.

There have been bumps and bruises, but the Coyotes have had a pretty busy offseason, and we’re nowhere close to being finished.

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Ryan O'Hara

Award-winning sportswriter from Denver, Colorado.

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