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Nelson Minor Hockey grad signs with NHL's Arizona Coyotes

Dryden Hunt signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Coyotes. — Submitted

Nelson Minor Hockey grad Dryden Hunt has switched National Hockey League teams, recently signing a one-year, two-way contract with the Arizona Coyotes.

Coyotes General Manager Bill Armstrong made the announcement as NHL teams continue to scan the free-agent market to bolster rosters for the upcoming season.

Hunt, 24, played last season in the Florida Panthers system, splitting time with the NHL club and the Springfield Thunderbirds of the American Hockey League.

Hunt registered four assists and 24 penalty minutes in 21 games with the Panthers in 2019-20.

He also added 13 goals, 16 assists for 29 points in 35 games with the Thunderbirds.

The 6-foot, 193-pound forward, signing an entry-level contract with Florida on March 2, 2016 following a very successful career in the Western Hockey League with Regina Pats, Medicine Hat Tigers and Moose Jaw Warriors, posted 72-78-150 in 214 game with Springfield and 3-12-15 in 63 NHL games with the Panthers.

In his final season in Junior, Hunt scored 58 goals and 58 assists for 116 points in 72 games to capture the WHL player of the year award.

After sparking Nelson to the Peewee Rep Provincial Title, Hunt played in Notre Dame, Sask., before returning back to the Heritage City in 2010 to play in the BC Hockey Major Midget League for the Kootenay Ice. That same season, Hunt played four games as an affiliate player for the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BC Hockey League.

Hunt then started his Junior A career in 2011, signing with Regina Pats of the WHL.