#8: Karel Vejmelka, Arizona Coyotes
2021-22 Stats: 13-32-3 Record, 52 Games, 3.68 GAA, .898 Save %, 1 Shutout
Surprise, surprise. One reason, among several, that the Arizona Coyotes are stuck in the pit of doom in the Central Division is they don’t have reliable goaltending and are extremely inexperienced at the position.
Vejmelka is expected to be the primary starter for a Coyotes team that will once again be a transitioning team that will go through a lot of growing pains.
However, if Vejmelka turns in a commendable sophomore campaign in the NHL, then perhaps the Coyotes can be modestly surprising and avoid last place in the division.
Vejmelka got a heavy workload during his rookie season appearing in over 50 games. You can’t fault him for not having much around him, and it will probably be another rough year in his second season in the NHL.
The projected backup to Vejmelka will be 28-year-old Jon Gillies, who also played in his first NHL season in 2021-22. He appeared in just 20 games and also had less than ideal numbers.