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Fearless Coyotes roster, lineup projections 3.0

Craig Morgan Avatar
August 8, 2023
Newly signed defenseman Matt Dumba has altered the Coyotes lineup.

Every time the PHNX Coyotes crew gets into the lineup projecting business, Arizona general manager Bill Armstrong makes another move to blow up all of our fearless projections.

It happened when Armstrong brought in free-agent forwards Jason Zucker, Alex Kerfoot, Nick Bjugstad and Troy Stecher. It happened again when 2022 third overall draft pick Logan Cooley decided to turn pro instead of returning to the University of Minnesota for his sophomore season. And it happened on Sunday when Arizona agreed to a one-year, $3.9 million contract with free-agent defenseman Matt Dumba.

The Dumba signing filled what looked to be a significant hole in the top two defense pairs. It also added to coach André Tourigny’s growing stable of high-character players — a group that almost has too many players to mention.

The Coyotes had been chasing Dumba since the start of free agency and after some early optimism, the internal belief was that signing him was a long shot. The belief was that Dumba’s fortunes were tied to the fate of defenseman Erik Karlsson, who went to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a three-team trade just before the Dumba signing was announced.

“It’s a tough situation for a lot of teams this year with the cap so it was just letting things unfold; teams kind of play out their hands,” Dumba said Monday. “Arizona was around from day one and they definitely had a big piece in this and the discussions I had with my girlfriend and with my family about what was right for us. We were weighing the pros and cons. There wasn’t too many cons to coming to the desert. We just needed to take the time to look at everything and be calculated and make sure this is the right fit.”

Dumba and agent Craig Oster waited patiently to see how the market shook out. When the Penguins acquired Karlsson from the San José Sharks on Sunday morning, Dumba turned back to Arizona before the music stopped and he was left without a chair.

Dumba’s signing brought the number of players under contract in Arizona to 49 if you do not include prospects Conor Geekie and Maveric Lamoureux, both of whom are expected to rejoin their junior teams at some point during or after training camp, or after a short and contractually permissible trial in the NHL.

With only one roster spot still open (restricted free agent Jan Jeník remains unsigned), it seems reasonable to project the NHL roster. Armstrong likes to leave some flexibility in the roster for potential moves (waivers, trades, etc.) before or during the season, so this looks like the group with which Arizona will go to battle.

Here then are my updated and still fearless projections for the roster and lineup.

Coyotes forwards

Clayton Keller
Nick Schmaltz
Barrett Hayton
Jason Zucker
Alex Kerfoot
Logan Cooley
Lawson Crouse
Nick Bjugstad
Matias Maccelli
Michael Carcone
Jack McBain
Dylan Guenther
Travis Boyd
Liam O’Brien


JJ Moser
Sean Durzi
Juuso Välimäki 
Matt Dumba
Troy Stecher
Josh Brown
Travis Dermott


Karel Vejmelka
Connor Ingram

Notable omissions: Victor Söderström, Vladislav Kolyachonok, Shea Weber, Jakub Voráček and Bryan Little (just seeing if you’re paying attention). I also think that Travis Boyd will get plenty of opportunities to play, and he could end up being a regular in the lineup. Tourigny trusts him.

projected lineup


Left wingCenterRight wing
Clayton KellerBarrett HaytonNick Schmaltz
Jason ZuckerLogan CooleyAlex Kerfoot
Lawson CrouseNick BjugstadMatias Maccelli
Michael CarconeJack McBainDylan Guenther
Extra: Travis BoydLiam O’Brien


Left defenseRight defense
JJ MoserMatt Dumba
Juuso Välimäki Sean Durzi
Troy StecherJosh Brown
Extra: Travis Dermott


Karel Vejmelka
Connor Ingram

Top photo of Matt Dumba via Getty Images

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