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Does Michael Kesselring Deserve More Playing Time with Coyotes?

© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

With injuries to two defenseman, Juuso Välimäki (mouth) and Travis Dermott (upper body), there is one particular player on the Arizona Coyotes that has been called up and seized the opportunity, Michael Kesselring.

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On Nov. 8, Kesselring was recalled by the Coyotes from their minor league affiliate, the Tucson Roadrunners.

Due to Dermott’s original injury occurring on Nov. 7, the move to have Kesselring on the NHL roster seemed to only be for insurance if someone else was dealt with a setback.

Well, Välimäki unfortunately took a puck to the face against the Dallas Stars on Nov. 14.

Because of this, Kesselring went from playing with Tucson, being healthy scratched on the Coyotes to featuring against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Nov. 16.

Season Debut

Not only did he replace Välimäki last night, but Kesselring showed up and showed out.

In only 11:32 of time-on-ice, Kesselring recorded an assist, plus/minus rating of +1 and a shot-on-goal.

Also, that assist was his first of the season as he had zero points in six games for Tucson.

Additionally, he had two opportunities to score, but just missed wide of the net.

On the defensive side, Kesselring registered a block and a hit in his 2023 NHL season debut.

Now, Kesselring has a spot for the foreseeable future until either Välimäki or Dermott return.

Furthermore, he will stick on the third defensive pair with Troy Stecher for the time being.

But, Kesselring threading the needle offensively adds yet another weapon on the backend that can be relied upon when injuries arise for Arizona.

In contrast, a little bit more physicality shown by Kesselring could go a long way moving forward.

However, if Kesselring continues to impress, there can even be a chance that he could be considered to stick around longer with the Coyotes than first presumed, even when other players come back healthy.

Michael Kesselring in, Juuso Välimäki out for Coyotes vs. Blue Jackets

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Alec Cipollini is an insider of the Arizona Coyotes and Cardinals for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account @AlecCipollini

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