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Former Canucks defenceman Olli Juolevi signs pro tryout with Arizona Coyotes
By Mike Gould5 months ago
The Arizona Coyotes have signed former Vancouver Canucks defenceman Olli Juolevi to professional tryout agreement, the club announced Wednesday morning.
Juolevi, 25, spent the 2022–23 season with the American Hockey League’s San Diego Gulls, collecting 14 points (one goal, 13 assists) in 38 games.
The Canucks originally selected Juolevi with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, one spot ahead of Matthew Tkachuk and two ahead of Clayton Keller.
While Tkachuk and Keller have established themselves as two of the best players in the league, Juolevi has appeared in just 41 NHL games to date with the Canucks, Florida Panthers, and Detroit Red Wings.
Juolevi will now attend Coyotes training camp alongside Keller, although they’re unlikely to spend much time together in the early goings. The Coyotes are slated to participate in two NHL Global Series games against the Los Angeles Kings in Australia, with Keller expected to headline the event on the Coyotes’ side.
In a highly unusual twist, the Coyotes will take the ice for three split-squad games on the same day (September 23) later this month. In addition to their first game against the Kings in Australia, the ‘Yotes will take on the St. Louis Blues for games in St. Louis and Wichita, Kansas that day.
That’s why the Coyotes announced on Wednesday that they will invite eleven (yes, 11) players to training camp on PTOs. These guys — Juolevi among them — will most likely be filling out the rosters for the games in Wichita and St. Louis. Don’t expect to see Juolevi heading down under.
Juolevi will be part of a fierce competition for spots on the Coyotes’ blue line in 2023–24.
Although Matt Dumba, Sean Durzi, J.J. Moser, Juuso Valimaki, Troy Stecher, and Josh Brown are all established NHL options, Juolevi will be going up aginst the likes of Travis Dermott, Victor Soderstrom, Vladislav Kolyachonok, Michael Kesselring, Maksymillian Szuber, and fellow PTOs Peter DiLiberatore and Austin Strand.
After playing split-squad games on September 23 and 24, the Coyotes will reunite back in the desert before embarking on a more normal schedule to conclude the preseason. It remains to be seen whether Juolevi remains in Arizona when the team plays its first home game of the year at Mullett Arena on October 21 against the Ducks.
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