While he has only appeared in 16 NHL games, he has a respectable 8-8 record. He managed a .898 save percentage and a 2.95 goals-against average.
Adin Hill Can be the Goalie of the Future
In his first preseason appearance against the Edmonton Oilers, he made 38 saves en route to a 4-2 win for the Coyotes. That amounted to a .950 save percentage. Hill stood tall in his net, and that’s not an issue for one of the tallest goalies in the NHL. He stands 6’6″, 203 pounds.
You would think that a goalie with a frame that large would not be agile or mobile, but Hill covers his net with cat-like reflexes and makes some spectacular saves.
He’s been playing in the AHL with the Coyotes affiliate Tucson Roadrunners and will more than likely be the starter when the season begins. While down there Hill has a 52-43-14 record with a .908 save percentage and a 2.72 goals-against average.
His NHL numbers are average with an 8-8 record and a .898 save percentage with a 2.95 goals against average. When the Coyotes had injury problems last season (which seemed almost all year long) Hill stepped in and performed well until he got bombed for seven goals against the Calgary Flames on January 13, 2019. He was unceremoniously sent down to Tucson, never to participate in another game that season.
And why was that? Mostly due to the excellent play of one Darcy Kuemper who almost singlehandedly qualified the injury-prone Coyotes towards the playoffs. While they fell short, they are hoping that their goalie tandem of Kuemper and Antti Raanta will hold strong this coming season.
If Raanta catches the injury bug again, Hill will be waiting in the shadows looking for a call-up to play in the NHL again.
Is Hill NHL Ready?
He’s close, and playing in Tucson one more season may be what he needs. Breaking into the NHL as a goalie is never an easy venture especially when your NHL team has two qualified goalies you need to surpass.
The other option could be if Raanta falters or is hurt again, Hill will be the player called up from Tucson to fill in as he did last season. Raanta, after signing a three-year $12.75 million in April 2018 has done little to earn that contract. If Hill continues to progress, trading Raanta could be a distinct possibility.
Kuemper becomes an unrestricted free agent after the 2019-20 season. The way he played last season Arizona should offer him a contract. Yet, that is not a given, so there is some light at the end of the tunnel that Hill could get an opportunity to move up the ladder of goalies getting a shot.
Hill did show signs of brilliance last season when he was called up. He accumulated four straight wins while just giving up just two goals. His large presence in the net can be intimidating for an opposing shooter. He covers a lot of territory and cuts down angles with the best of them.
Putting together a good season in Tucson will increase Hill’s value to the Coyotes. It will advance the possibility of him starting out as a backup goalie and then perhaps a starter in the NHL.
He certainly hasn’t hurt his chances with his preseason performance.