Former Waterloo Black Hawk Vinnie Hinostroza is a major piece of a blockbuster trade in the National Hockey League.
Earlier this summer, he worked out a new contract with the Chicago Blackhawks, but now he is headed to a new team after being dealt to the Arizona Coyotes as part of a seven player deal finalized on Thursday.
“I think he plays at a super high pace, one of the highest paces in the league,” Arizona General Manager John Chayka said on the Coyotes’ website. “He's skilled, he's smart and he reads the game extremely well, and when he gets out in open ice, he can make a lot of things happen. He's constantly on the puck, constantly pressuring the puck.”
Last season in Chicago, Hinostroza compiled a career-long six-game point streak from December 29th through January 9th, in the middle of making 50 appearances with seven goals and 18 assists.
“Last year, I kind of let go of all expectations,” Hinostroza told the Arizona website. “I knew I belonged in the league, and I knew I could play my game and help the team win. So, that's kind of what I tried to do. No matter if I made a mistake or not, I just kept my foot to the gas pedal and just tried to play my own game, and that definitely helped me a lot last year.”
The deal between Chicago and Arizona also included defenseman Jordan Oesterle and the contract for Marian Hossa going to the Coyotes. The Black Hawks received forwards Marcus Kruger, MacKenzie Entwistle, and Jordan Maletta, plus defenseman Andrew Campbell.
Hinostroza is just five years removed from the last of his three seasons in Waterloo. As a USHL’er, he skated in over 150 regular season games and recorded 126 points, putting him among Waterloo’s top ten junior-era scoring leaders. In 2012, following his second season with the Black Hawks, Hinostroza was picked during the sixth round of the NHL Draft by Chicago.
Less than a month ago, Chicago signed Hinostroza to a two-year contract extension.
“He’s rated as one of the top undervalued players in the league,” Chayka noted. “We think very highly of Vinnie Hinostroza. His future is excellent and he'll be a big part of what we do here.”
The Coyotes are one of only four NHL teams which have neither had a former Waterloo player appear during a regular season NHL game nor selected one during the NHL Draft.
Of the nine Waterloo alumni who appeared in the NHL last winter, Hinostroza is the second to land with a new team this offseason. On July 1, J.T. Brown signed a free agent contract with the Minnesota Wild after splitting time between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Anaheim Ducks in 2017/18.
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