Arizona Coyotes 2020 Season Preview: Odds and Predictions

Arizona Coyotes 101

Founded: 1972 (as the original Winnipeg Jets)

Home Arena: Gila River Arena, Glendale, AZ., 17, 125 capacity

Championships: Division titles: 1

Owner: Alex Meruelo, Andrew Barroway

General Manager: John Chayka

Head Coach: Rick Tocchet

Team Captain: Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Offense

Last season saw the Arizona Coyotes finish with a regular season record of 39-35-8 and finished 18th-overall in the league. They missed the playoffs in 2019 and for good reason. The team just didn’t have much going for it throughout the year offensively. The Coyotes mustered only 209 goals as a team last season, finishing 29th overall in that category above only the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings. They also finished in the bottom-six in the NHL on the powerplay. The Coyotes put up only 42 powerplay shots last season and had only a 16.28 percent success rate. The team combined for 2,522 shots last season, good enough for only an 8.3 shooting percentage.

Heading into 2020, however, it could be argued that the Arizona Coyotes could be your best underdog bet when it comes to having a bounce-back season and making the playoffs. For starters, the Coyotes have landed, arguably, their first legitimate offensive star when they traded for Phil Kessel during the offseason. The Coyotes also managed to land Carl Soderberg from the Colorado Avalanche. Soderberg surpassed 50 points last season with a shooting percentage of 12.2. Kessel adds powerplay experience as well and, after registering 55 assists last season, is expected to amplify the game of young forwards such as Lawson Crouse and Clayton Keller. It is expected that Crouse should start seeing minutes within the top-six this season.

Defense

The 2019 season showed a lot of promise for the Coyotes moving forward. For starters, the team ranked within the top-5 for allowing the fewest goals against with only 220 over their 82 regular season games. They were also within the top-10 for allowing the fewest shots against with 2,526. A lot of the strong defensive play can be chalked up to the consistent play of all-star team captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who was second in team scoring behind Clayton Keller with 44 points. The team also finished third-overall when it came to killing penalties, putting together an 84.96 percent success rate behind only the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Heading into the 2020 season, the Coyotes defensive core from last year is largely healthy and intact. Should the offense stay healthy in 2020, this team should be able to make a playoff run. Jason Demers will also be coming back into 2020 as a healthy top-pairing defenseman alongside Ekman-Larsson after missing much of the mid-season last year that some argue ruined all hope of a 2019 playoff run for the team.

Goaltending

Antti Raanta is back. Should Raanta be able to stay healthy in 2020, the Coyotes will essentially be working with two starter-quality goaltenders. With an already proven track record, goalie Darcy Kuemper is sure to get the official starting nod. Kuemper made 55 starts last season, registering a goals against average of 2.33 and a save percentage of .925. He also had a career-high five shutouts in 2019.

Raanta made only 12 stars last season and had a goals against average of 2.88 and a save percentage of .906 across those 12 games.

Head Office

The biggest change that the Coyotes saw this off-season was potentially the change in ownership. Rumoured to be on the verge of a sale for the past several seasons, the league announced this offseason that Alex Meruelo had become the new majority shareholder of the Arizona franchise. Meruelo has been very outspoken about wanting to win and has been adamant in stating his desire to stay in Arizona and his commitment to the team and state. This new excitement from the new owner is sure to trickle down to the on-ice product.

Projected Stars

Our projected star for Arizona’s 2020 season is young talent Clayton Keller. Keller played well last season with linemate Nick Schmaltz but unfortunately Schmaltz went down with a season-ending injury. Keller still managed to lead the team in points last year with 47 even though his production dropped from his rookie season. Keller becomes a restricted free-agent at the end of the 2020 campaign and this season could determine the value of his next NHL contract.

Stanley Cup odds for 2020

As of the time of writing, the Arizona Coyotes odds at winning the 2020 Stanley Cup sit at +4000. Their O/U regular season points total sits at 87.5 and they are +140 underdogs to make the playoffs next season. They have not made the playoffs since 2011-12.

Team Total Points in the Competition – Regular Season

SportsbookOver 87.5Under 87.5Link
888Sport NJ+100-122

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Will the Arizona Coyotes make the NHL playoffs?

SportsbookYESNOLink
888Sport NJ+140-177

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Stanley Cup Winner – Arizona Coyotes Odds

SportsbookChampionship WinnerLink
888Sport NJ+4000
BetStars NJ+3500

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