The Arizona Coyotes surprised some when they had their first-round pick from this year, Barrett Hayton, on their opening night roster. The move was viewed as a way for the 18-year-old to get valuable off-ice experience in the NHL, and if he appeared in a game, good for him.
Two games into the season — and hours before the team was set to go to Anaheim for its third contest of the year — Hayton has been sent back to his junior team, the Sault St. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. He did not appear in a regular season game for the Coyotes.
Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said before the season opener against Dallas that during Hayton’s time with the team in training camp and beyond, his play and understanding of the systems improved, and he played well on the penalty kill.
“That’s a plus for us that he’s gaining that experience,” Tocchet said. “Even if he doesn’t play right now, he’s getting that experience right now.”
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A corresponding move wasn’t immediately announced.
The Coyotes currently have four players on injured reserve, including forward Josh Archibald, who skated at the Scottsdale Ice Den on Monday. He’s still considered day-to-day, and was not yet cleared for contact.
Arizona’s next game is on Wednesday at Anaheim, which beat the Coyotes on Saturday at Gila River Arena. In that game, the Coyotes were without forward Laurent Dauphin — not just because he was scratched, but because he was in Tucson on a conditioning assignment in the AHL. He has since returned to the club, but he had counted against the roster all along, as stipulated by the rules of conditioning loans. Thus, Dauphin’s return to the roster would not have been what prompted Hayton’s reassignment.
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