The Arizona Coyotes may have lost some of their scoring options in recent weeks but a few transactions this week have strengthened the team and bolstered their rosters depth.
On Tuesday, July 16, Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced the signing of forward Brandon McMillan to a one-year contract, two-way contract and the signing of fellow forward Jordan Szwarz to a two-year, two-way contract. Fiscal details of the contracts were not disclosed by the team.
McMillan was originally drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the third round, 85th overall, in the 2008 NHL entry Draft. He was traded to the Coyotes on April 3, 2013 in exchange for Matthew Lombardi. In four NHL seasons he has appeared 113 regular season games and tallied 32-points, on 13-goals and 19-assists. Last season with the Coyotes he appeared in 22 regular season games, scored two-games and dished out four-assists.
The Coyotes drafted Szwarz 97th overall, fourth round, in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. The Burlington, Ontario native made his NHL debut in 2013-14 and played 26 regular season games with the Coyotes. In limited use last season he scored three-goals, including his first career NHL goal on Halloween night against the visiting Nashville Predators.
With the roster getting fuller the Coyotes took the next step and made sure that the team’s talent is strong and in proper shape for the demands of a long season. Arizona announced on Wednesday, July 16 that they signed JP Major to a multi-year deal to serve as the team’s Strength and Conditioning Coach.
Major graduated from the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition, Exercise and Health Science. The former Cornhusker worked at EXOS, in Phoenix, for the past two-years as a Performance Specialist and lead coach for NHL player off-season programs. In 2013 he directed the Coyotes training camp fitness testing and helped with data analysis.
The Coyotes must heed the wisdom of JP Major. The team will need to develop some extra muscle and strength after the departure of forward, and occasional enforcer, Paul Bissonette.