As the offseason went by, the Arizona Coyotes were signing and re-signing players left and right, all but one player. Up until recently, Coyotes forward Anthony Duclair was the only Coyote to remain unsigned. With his poor stats last year, it was very clear that signing Duclair was going to be a flip of the coin, but Duclair signed himself a one-year contract with the Coyotes for 1.2 million.
In his rookie season, Duclair put up 20 goals, 24 assists and 44 points overall. With stats like that in just his rookie year alone, Duclair was turning out to be a power forward. By his second NHL season, the Quebec native only managed to put up 5 goals, 10 points and 15 points overall. In Duclair’s “sophomore slump” season, he was even sent down to the Coyotes minor team the Tucson Roadrunners for a few weeks.
It was no surprise that the Coyotes were hesitant on re-signing Duclair after a season like that, but they decided to give him another chance.
Duclair is hopeful to have a bounce back season and wants to “prove himself on this one year deal… that he can play at an elite level,” he said. He also said that after looking at his play style from last year in videos, it was an “eye opener” and he had no doubt to why he struggled so heavily last season.
General Manager, John Chayka, stated that he expects Duclair to “earn the opportunity at the high level.” With a new head coach coming to town, Chayka is hopeful that playing for Rick Tocchet will help him achieve that opportunity.
The Coyotes GM also mentioned that this was “a good lesson” for Duclair as he came off of his entry level contract and that he has to earn his next contract based on his performance.
Duclair is excited for the up coming season. He also mentioned that this season is all about proving to not only management, but to himself that he belongs here in Arizona. With a new-found confidence in himself, its no surprise that Duclair is excited to play along side the new center Derek Stepan.
“Whoever I’m playing with, I’m going to do my best to help this team win,” he said. “I’m just happy to be where I’m at right now, and I feel like I’m in really good shape to have a big year.”
In the words of John Chayka, “the sky’s the limit” for Anthony Duclair. Will he return to his normal scoring self again or have another slump season? Depending on whatever happens, this could be Duclair’s last chance with the Coyotes organization.
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