The fifth-overall pick from the 2018 NHL Draft is set to make his regular-season NHL debut Thursday at home against the Vegas Golden Knights, Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet announced.
“Very excited,” Hayton told reporters in Arizona. “It’s a long time coming and it’s a special day. It’s an exciting time. … I have a lot of confidence in myself and I want to be out there. I want to make an impact.”
The 19-year-old Peterborough, Ont., native spent his junior career with the Soo Greyhounds in the Ontario Hockey League where he registered 26 goals and 66 points in just 39 games during the 2018-19 season.
“He was a top player last year in the OHL from a production standpoint, from an impact standpoint with his team, from a leadership standpoint.,” Coyotes general manager John Chayka said of the franchise’s top prospect in the summer.
Although Hayton is a natural centre, he is expected to line up as a winger on a line with Christian Dvorak and Nick Schmaltz on Thursday.