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Young Coyotes d-men impressing coach Tippett

Mar 31, 2014, 4:07 PM EDT

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A couple of Coyotes rookies — defensemen Connor Murphy and Brandon Gormley — are earning praise from head coach Dave Tippett.

“I like the way both of them play,” Tippett said, per azcentral. “They’ve come up, and they defend quick. They play the game quick and defend quick. They think the game well. Young or old or whatever, I like the quickness they play with.”

Murphy, 21, and Gormley, 22, were both first-round picks, so relatively big things were always expected of them. Still, their emergence leaves the Phoenix blue line — which also features Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Keith Yandle — looking pretty good for the future.

Just glancing over the Coyotes’ roster situation, per CapGeek


…and one would have to wager pending UFA Derek Morris won’t be back next season.

Michael Stone, 23, is another young d-man with a bright future. Chris Summers, 26, also seems to have made progress after a good amount of development time in the AHL.

For a budget-conscious club like Phoenix, getting contributions from young players on affordable contracts is extremely important.

Related: Gormley to make NHL debut for Coyotes

  1. thailer35 - Mar 31, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    Morris will hopefully not be resigned. Can’t see how he could be. I’d be alright with letting summers walk as well. Next year should be OEL-Murphy, Yandle-Michalek (if we are going to keep Yandle, we need someone paired with him who can compensate a little for his turnovers), Stone-Gormley, Schlemko upstairs where he belongs.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 31, 2014 at 8:08 PM

      Solid pairings. OEL and Yandle are both dynamic. Michalek is a good all around defender. And then obviously the young guys… Phoenix always seems to find a way to compete and it starts in net and on the blueline.

  2. hildezero - Mar 31, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    Nice. I always like to see good young players in the Yotes for the near future.

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