Goulds native gets first pro deal a year after being drafted by Phoenix
Melindy was a third-round selection by Phoenix in last year’s NHL Entry Draft.
— Photo by Daniel St. Louis/Moncton Wildcats
On Wednesday, less than a year after being selected 88th overall by the Phoenix Coyotes in the 2012 National Hockey League Entry Draft, Goulds native James Melindy had an entry-level contract with the Coyotes.
Coyotes general manager Don Maloney announced the three-year deal with the young defenceman, but did not disclose the terms.
Melindy, who doesn’t turn 20 until December, appeared in two games with the Portland Pirates, the Coyotes’ American Hockey League affiliate, last month after joining the club on a tryout contract following the end of his Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season with the Moncton Wildcats.
The six-foot-three, 186-pound blueliner had four goals and 24 points, with a plus-13 rating, in 67 regular season-games with the Wildcats. He failed to record a point, and was a minus-1 with four penalty minutes, in five games as Moncton were bounced by the Victoriaville Tigres.
Melindy, who left home at 15 to attend Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox, Sask., was supposed to take part in the Coyotes' prospect development camp last summer, but he only got on the ice once due to his gear being lost by an airline.
"I really want to turn pro,” Melindy told the Telegram before joining the Pirates on a visit to St. John’s to take on the IceCaps.
“I think with a big summer of training, I'm confident I can do that. But if I'm sent back to junior, if they want me to go back and develop more and be ready for the next year, I can't take it as an insult.”