Arizona Coyotes sign Slovakian World Championship standout Patrik Koch

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      The Arizona Coyotes have announced that they have signed defenseman Patrik Koch to a one-year contract.

      Koch, 26, had 12 points in 46 games with HC Vitkovice of the top Czech league this season and four points during the playoffs. Koch especially stood out at the World Championship with Slovakia, recording four points on the top pairing to lead the team in blueline scoring.

      Koch is known for his strong, physical play and defensive zone coverage. He had 69 penalty minutes this past season, but had over 90 penalty minutes in his other two seasons with Vitkovice.

      Koch has previous experience playing in North America, splitting the 2014-15 season between the USHL’s De Moines Buccaneers and NAHL’s SOO Eagles. Koch went undrafted in the NHL and chose to return back home to split time between Slovakia and Czechia in 2015-16.

      “We are very pleased to have Patrik join our organization,” GM Doug Armstrong said. “He is a competitive, defensive defenseman with good puck-moving capability and was an integral contributor to the Slovak National Team’s defense for many years. We look forward to seeing him in training camp.” 

      The Coyotes now have 10 defensemen signed for next year, including Koch. Connor Mackey, a Group 6 UFA, and Steven Kampfer are the only only pending UFAs, with Cameron Crotty currently an RFA. According to Cap Friendly, the Coyotes have $27 million in projected cap space this summer, with Matias Maccelli and Jack McBain likely getting the biggest raises. The Coyotes don’t have any current NHL defensemen signed past next year.

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