With a one-year deal, Duclair out to show he ‘can play at an elite level’
It’s a well-known point by now that Anthony Duclair’s 2016-17 season had its share of difficulties.
His production dropped substantially, leaving him with only five goals and 15 points, down from the 20 goals and 44 points he had during his first full NHL season with the Coyotes. He scored on 19 per cent of his shots in 2015-16 and, not surprisingly, that figure fell to 6.6 per cent this past season.
He also spent time in the minors.
On Sunday, the Coyotes and Duclair signed a one-year deal worth a reported $1.2 million. The length of the deal would put the onus on the 22-year-old forward, a restricted free agent this summer, to prove himself this upcoming season. And that is how Duclair sees it, too.
Coyotes general manager John Chayka said on a conference call that the Coyotes offered Duclair and agent Kent Hughes three different contract options with varying term and average annual value. The dollar amount was lower on the longer-term deals so Duclair chose the one-year option.
“I just wanted to prove myself with this one-year deal,” said Duclair, who is still in Montreal but will arrive in Arizona on Friday. “Obviously, last season was a little rough for myself. It was a good learning experience but at the same time, I just wanted to prove this year that I can play at an elite level like I did my rookie season and hopefully have a better contract next summer.”
Duclair was the last remaining restricted free agent for the Coyotes to get under contract.