Bio: Acquired in a trade last year by the Phoenix Coyotes from the Ottawa Senators for Kyle Turris. Rundblad played in 30 games for the Portland, scoring seven goals, nine assists for 16 points. He played six games for the Coyotes, recording three assists. Rundblad is considered a highly-skilled offensive defenseman who can be a future NHL power-play specialist. A first-round pick of the St. Louis Blues in 2009, Rundblad had 50 points in 55 games with Skelleftea HC of the Swedish Elite League in the 2010-‘11 season — the second-highest point total by a defenseman in SEL history.
Coaches’ Comments: “He’s going to lead us on the power play. He’s a puck-moving player that will create offense for us this season. One of the areas that we are working on with him is his ability to defending on a more consistent basis.”
Bio: Goncharov is an offensive defenseman at a transitional point of his career. He’s entering his third season of his entry-level contract with the Phoenix Coyotes, trying to make the push to the National Hockey League. The Moscow, Russia native is looking to rebound from a poor season last year, scoring only four points (1g, 3a) in 45 games with the Pirates. His career-best season was in 2010-’11 with the Coyotes’ previous affiliate, San Antonio Rampage, where he scored 15 points in 61 games.
Coaches’ Comments: “Goncharov is a big, strong player. There is nobody on the team that probably has the skill set that he has, strength, can shoot the puck a ton. What we need from him is a simpler game. He should be able to produce for us offensively this season, but we need him to play a simpler, more effective game.”
Bio: Summers ended last season with the Phoenix Coyotes after being recalled from the Pirates at the end of the Jan. 2012. Summers appeared in 28 games for the Pirates, scoring two assists with a plus-3 rating and was time after time a steadying force on the blueline. The Ann Arbor native recorded his first NHL points, scoring a pair of assists in a 6-1 win over Colorado on Jan 16, 2012. A product of Red Berenson and the University of Michigan Hockey program, Summers appeared in 21 games for the Coyotes, scoring three assists.
Coaches’ Comments: “He’s a very tough to play against defensively. He’s a match-up player for us on the ice and a leader of this team.”
Bio: Brodeur is entering his third season as a pro, his second as a member of the Pirates, with high expectations. The towering defenseman didn’t get much ice time at the start of last season, however, by midseason he was a key member of the blueline for Portland. In 43 games, he finished with the six points (2g, 4a) and was ranked second on the team in plus-minus with a plus-10 rating.
Coaches’ Comments: “It’s a big year for Matt. He’s become stronger, his skating has improved and his poise with the puck has improved so we’re really looking to him to become a regular player for us this year.”
Bio: Werek is looked at as a player on the rise in the Coyotes’ organization. He finished last season with nine goals, 10 assists for 19 points in 67 games, which included a strong month of March where he posted nine points in 13 games with a plus-8 rating.
Coaches’ Comments: “If you look at Ethan’s last 20 games. I loved the way he finished the season. It took some time for him to become acclimated to the pro game, but now that he understands what’s expected, we hope he’ll continue where he left off at the end of the season.”
Bio: After missing the start of the season due to injury, Szwarz is ready for a breakout season with the Pirates. He will be one of four players to wear a letter this season after being named an assistant captain for the season. Last year, Szwarz appeared in 58 games, scoring seven goals, 13 assists for 20 points with a plus-6 rating. Szwarz, who was selected in the fourth round (#97 overall) by the Phoenix Coyotes in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, played with the Saginaw Spirit during the 2010-’11 season where he scoring 27 goals, 39 assists for 66 points with a plus-33 rating in 65 games.
Coaches’ Comments: “He’s an intelligent, competitive player that’s good at a lot of things. You can use him in all sorts of situations, either at the top or the bottom of a lineup, or as a penalty killer or on the power play. He is a very valuable asset to have on the team.”
Bio: Brown is entering his rookie season with the Pirates. He played three years with the University of Michigan where he scored 34 goals, 46 assists for 80 points in 125 games as a power forward. Brown was a member of the US National Team that won bronze at the 2011 World Jr. Championship in Buffalo, New York.
Coaches’ Comments: “He’s a power forward that shoots the puck a ton and is going to get every opportunity to produce. He’s going to have to remain patient and play the game in the right way and just stay competitive when he’s on the ice.”
Bio: Klinkhammer signed as a free agent with the Phoenix Coyotes during the summer and will be one of the key veterans of the Pirates this season. The Alberta native spent last season with the Binghamton Senators and their NHL affiliate, the Ottawa Senators, after being acquired in a trade from the Chicago Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs. Klinkhammer played 15 games with Ottawa, recording two assists. In 35 games with the B-Sens, he scored 12 goals, 23 assists for 35 points.
Coaches’ Comments: “Leadership is going to play a big part of his role with the team. He’s going to play in all situations. We’re going to look to him to help produce some offense, but also to play against top players on the penalty kill. He’s going to have to be that leader through his work and his actions on and off the ice.”
Bio: Conner is considered the wily old veteran of the Pirates at just 28-years-old, having played in 147 NHL games with Dallas, Pittsburgh and Detroit, and 275 AHL games, scoring 227 points with Iowa, Peoria, Wilkes-Barre and Grand Rapids. Conner played last season for the Grand Rapid Griffins, scoring 53 points (16g, 37a) in 57 games.
Coaches’ Comments: “Chris really fits into the identity of this organization. He’s a relentless worker, hard on the puck and a really reliable player. He has a lot of offensive upside and we’ll need him to produce and lead through his work ethic.”
Bio: Shinnimin comes to the Pirates as a player with high expectations. He led the Tri-City Americans in goals (58) and points (134) to the conference finals of the Western Hockey League last season. The undrafted forward from Winnipeg earned several awards last season, including CHL Player of the Year, CHL Top Scorer of the Year as well as WHL Player of the Year.
Coaches’ Comments: “He’s a guy that produced offensively in junior. We’re going to put him in a similar situation to succeed that way and we hope that he can produce. I’m not sure that it means a point-per-game, but maybe that means he’ll score 50 or 60 points.”
Bio: Arnold is one of seven undrafted forwards on the Pirates roster this season. He played last season for Niagara University where he scored 18 points in 33 games. Arnold overcame a battle with testicular cancer in 2011 to play in the season opener for the Purple Eagles. He’s a classic power forward that plays the game with grit and determination and can agitate the opponent.
Coaches’ Comments: “Arnold is going to be a momentum player for us this season. He’s a guy that changes the game with big hits, physical play. It’s his first year pro and he’ll have to learn the pro game and continue to work on his game every day at practice.”
Bio: Martinook was selected by the Coyotes in the second round (#58 overall) in last year’s NHL Entry Draft. He recently signed an AHL contract with the Pirates and will be looked upon to be a part of the team’s “offense by committee” mantra. The Alberta native scored 40 goals, 24 assists with the Vancouver Giants of the WHL in 72 games and added nine more points in the playoffs.
Coaches’ Comments: “He could have gone back to juniors, but we decided to bring him here. What we’ve seen in him in his time so far in Portland is a player who has the ability to jump in and not be overwhelmed. He’s a smart player and a player that we envision playing in key situations and producing offense for us.”
Bio: Rechlicz’s role with the Portland Pirates is very simple. Protect the skilled players. It’s a role that Rechlicz has filled for the last two seasons with the Hershey Bears. The Wisconsin native has appeared in 122 AHL games over his career with Hershey, Bridgeport, and Albany, posting 645 penalty minutes.
Coaches’ Comments: “He’s a momentum-style player for us. He’s going to be a protector, and a guy that will keep us loose and positive on the bench. His role is very defined and he understands and accepts his role. We really felt like we needed to have that role filled this season.”
Bio: Miele enters his second professional season with the hope of continuing where he left off last year. The 24-year-old finished the season as the leading scoring for the Pirates, recording 16 goals, 38 assists for 54 points and was named an AHL All-Star in his rookie season. He also appeared in seven NHL games with the Coyotes.
Coaches’ Comments: “He’s going to have to be one of our offensive leaders for the Pirates this season. However, having said that one of the things we need from Andy is to become a more direct player by getting more pucks to the net and attacking the net more. We’d like to see him get better in the faceoff circle. We want to lean on him to be a 200 foot player”
Bio: Lane was drafted by the Coyotes in the second round (#52 overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He played last season for the Brampton Battalion of the OHL, scoring 15 goals, 26 assists for 41 points in 53 games.
Coaches’ Comments: “He will be like Arnold in a sense that he will be a momentum player on the ice. He’s a smart player and understands systems well and was well-coached in Brampton. He’s a very strong player and can protect the puck. I envision him as being a guy that we can rely on in the last minute of a period.”
Bio: Ekman-Larsson was key member of the Phoenix Coyotes playoff run last season. He played all 82 games for the Coyotes, scoring 15 goals, 26 assists for 41 points with a plus-11 rating. He’s a very skilled defenseman with remarkable skating ability and is very calm under pressure.
Coaches’ Comments: “While we have him we’re going to take advantage of having him here. He’s going to be a leader of this team. He’s got a competitive spirit and has really good skating ability. He’s got a great mind and skill set and he puts himself in to good position on the ice.”
Bio: Hextall is looking to take that next step this season toward being an all-around player for the Pirates. In 72 games for Portland last season, he scored seven goals, eight assists for 15 points. Hextall, a sixth round pick of the Coyotes in 2008, played for the University of North Dakota where he recorded 39 goals, 42 assists for 81 points in 115 games.
Coaches’ Comments: “We know he’s a tenacious player. We know he’s going to be good on the forecheck, tough on the puck and defend really well. What we want to see this season is him take a step to adding some offense to his game.”
Bio: Bloodoff, a sixth round pick of the Phoenix Coyotes in the 2009 draft, is in the second year of an AHL contract and looking to make a statement by becoming an every game player this season. He appeared in 48 games for the Pirates, scoring six goals, two assists for eight points.
Coaches’ Comments: “He was in-and-out of the lineup last season so now the question becomes what else can he do for us. We know he is dynamic and we know he will be a big penalty killer for us, but we need to see what else he can do.”
Bio: Dziurzynski has many of the same traits has his brother David, who played in the Ottawa Senators organization, and will be trying to adjust to the pro game. He attended Pirates’ training camp last season before going back to juniors where he spent time with the Saskatoon Blades and Brandon Wheat Kings where he scored 30 goals, 16 assists for 46 points in 65 games. He signed a one-year AHL contract with the Pirates this summer.
Coaches’ Comments: “He’s an interesting package as a player. He’s big, strong and has some skill. He’s got the ability to score so it’s good package, but he needs to understand the consistency required to play at this level.”
Bio: Stone is a top-end defenseman for the Pirates this season. He played 51 games for Portland last season and really grew as a player, earning 13 games with the Phoenix Coyotes where scored his first NHL goal on March 10, 2012 against the San Jose Sharks.
Coaches’ Comments: “He’s a leader on the blueline and top pairing defenseman. He’ll play against other top defensemen. He’s really close to being an everyday player in the NHL.”
Bio: Visentin is a blue chip prospect of the Phoenix Coyotes, selected in the first round (#27 overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Visentin played his entire junior career with the Niagara Ice Dogs and finished last season, posting a 30-9-2 record with a 1.99GAA and a .926 save percentage. He also set an OHL record for 10 shutouts in a season. Visentin was a member of Canada’s World Jr. Teams that won silver in 2011 and bronze in 2012 at the World Jr. Championships.
Coaches’ Comments: “He was an elite goalie at the junior level and we want him to continue that elite status here in the AHL. He’s got a lot to learn, but he needs to stay mentality tough and continue to work at his game every day.”
Bio: Johnson was signed as a free agent this summer as a veteran goalie to provide guidance to Mark Visentin. Johnson played the last three seasons for the New York Rangers organization. Last season, he played 49 games for the Connecticut Whale where he went 22-18-6 with a 2.49GAA with a .919 save percentage.
Coaches’ Comments: “He’s calm, cool and collected when on the ice. He’s a steadying force in the locker room. If there are rocky seas, he’ll smooth them out by his actions, his play, and his demeanor. He’s going to make a save when we need him to and he’s going to calm us down and help out our young players.”
Bio: Louis took an unconventional route to make it to the AHL and earn an entry-level contract with the Phoenix Coyotes. Louis played five years of major junior hockey with the Brandon Wheat Kings and Red Deer Rebels before going onto play four years of CIS hockey at St. Francis Xavier University. The big bruising defenseman joined the Pirates last season, playing the final 23 games, recording 72 penalty minutes.
Coaches’ Comments: “He’s a physical, powerful, pounding, punishing defenseman. He has good puck-moving skills and can get the puck out of the zone quickly. He needs to put the fear of god into his opponents and he’s really the one guy (on defense) that can do that with his size and style of play.”
Bio: Gormley is another blue chip prospect in the Coyotes organization, drafted in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, he played for the Moncton Wildcats before being involved in a trade that sent him to the Shawinigan Cataractes where he would play a key role in winning the Memorial Cup on home ice.
Coaches’ Comments: “He brings poise and a level of control on the blueline. He’ll be looked at to provide some offense especially on the power play.”
Bio: Bolduc plays a very aggressive game on the ice and will be counted on to help the Pirates mature over the course of the season. Pirates’ coach Ray Edwards named him as the 15th captain in franchise history. Last season, he missed nearly the first half of the regular season due to offseason shoulder surgery, returning to play 23 games with the Pirates, scoring three goals, 12 assists for 15 points.
Coaches’ Comments: “He’s our captain. He’ll lead us through his work ethic and his tenacious style of play. He’s great in the faceoff circle and will be our key guy on the penalty kill. He’ll play against other teams top players and he’ll contributes offensively as we grow as a team.”