Fantasy Impact – The Phoenix Coyotes have signed center Andrew Ebbett to a one-year contract worth $500,000 (and $105,000 at the AHL level).
The Coyotes get:
A very good AHL forward who has shown flashes of being a productive player at the NHL level. Ebbett and 32 points in only 48 games with the Ducks back in 2008-09, but he wasn’t able to duplicate that success in Minnesota last season (14 points in 49 games). He doesn’t have the size or defensive acumen to play in the bottom six, and he is a long shot to crack Phoenix’s top six.
Fantasy Players impacted:
This signing is most likely a replacement for Joel Perreault, another gifted pivot at the AHL level who left to sign a contract with the Canucks on July 1st. However, it also may an indication that the Coyotes expect Kyle Turris to graduate from the AHL this coming season.
According to GM Don Maloney, Phoenix plans on moving Wojtek Wolski back to center, the position he played for his entire junior career. Wolski is big, quick, and a great distributor of the puck – it makes a lot of sense to try him out at center, especially with Matthew Lombardi having left for greener pastures.
The four centers who should make the 2010-11 opening day roster for the Coyotes are Wolski, Martin Hanzal, Viktor Tihkonov, and Verne Fiddler. However, the door is wide open for Turris to jump in and boot Wolski back to wing. The Coyotes may even decide to start Turris on the wing to allow him to get used to the NHL game without having to worry about the defensive responsibilities that centers typically deal with.
This signing may also indicate that Phoenix is comfortable with Hanzal on the second line. He is already one of the league’s best shutdown forwards, and he is only beginning to scratch the surface of his offensive upside.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order: