Roadrunners Running up the Standings and Prospects Heating Up

Arizona is making some serious heat waves with their NHL and AHL teams. Specifically, the Tucson Roadrunners. Who are exceeding everyone’s expectations. Coyotes prospects Dylan Guenther, Josh Doan, Nathan Smith, and Aku Raty have really turned up a notch this season, leading their team to the top of the standings.

Prospects turning up the heat.

Coyotes run deep in their prospect pool, but specifically the kids down in Tucson. (F)Dylan Guenther will likely be a top-six winger in the NHL by next season. Guenther has 26 points in 27 games played. Recording nine goals and 17 assists, he is the team leader in the point standings. (F) Josh Doan (yes, the son of former Coyote legend Shane Doan) has also been living up to his expectations quite nicely, if not better. Doan carries a nice size for his age, standing at 6 foot 1 and weighing 185. He plays a great forecheck gets in the dirty areas, and it shows as he leads the team in goals, having 12 in 28 games played. He’s already loved as he carries the “Doan” name, and being born in Scottsdale, AZ, his future will blend in quite nicely with what the Coyotes are building. As for forwards Aku Raty and Nathan Smith, they’re also helping out the squad, with both having 15 points halfway through the season. Smith recording three goals and 12 assists, and Raty has seven goals and eight assists, having very important roles in Tucons success.

Don’t Blink

The Roadrunners are second in their division, along with being 2nd in the Western Conference and 4th in the league. Being a 9th place team last year in the Pacific division, Tucson has made significant major strides to become an elite farm team, a team to grow elite prospects, and a team determined to win. They look to make a deep run into the Calder Cup playoffs this year, as the stars have really showed out. Head coach Steve Potvin has done an outstanding job developing these players. Eleven players with 10+ points on the season is showing everyone is committed to making this team a tough one to play against.

AHL or NHL?

There has been lots of talk about whether Dylan Guenther should be in the pros or in the farm system this year. Guenther, having 33 games of NHL experience under his belt, had 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in those games. But Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong felt he wasn’t quite ready to come up with the pros again. Sent him back down to Tucson to develop more of his game, working on his shot, his physical game and he’s been doing just that for the Roadrunners squad. Guenther stands at 6’2″ with a long reach on his stick and has a wicked fast shot to his game. There is no doubt Guenther will be an NHLer by next season and maybe even be a top-six forward for the Coyotes. I’ve also seen speculation from some Coyotes fans about Josh Doan also making a stint in the NHL. While I’ll agree he’s another fun prospect to watch, there is still lots to learn in his game. I can see him being an elite 3rd liner for the Coyotes team; he’ll add more size to Bill Armstrongs beefed-up team in the near future. The future grows exciting down in Tucson, and there is lots to look forward too as a Roadrunners and Coyotes fan.

The Chirpin Yotes Podcast Ep 71: Doan 2.0, Young Guns, Name The Team Game The Chirpin Yotes Podcast

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