Top Players to Follow in Arizona Coyotes Training Camp

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3. Lauri Korpikoski

Mar 13, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Phoenix Coyotes left wing Lauri Korpikoski (28) celebrates after a goal during the third period against the Boston Bruins at TD Banknorth Garden. The Boston Bruins won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Korpikoski has had good seasons, and he’s had okay seasons. He’s hit the 40-point mark, and he’s fallen significantly short. Lauri Korpikoski is, in short, a solid third line left wing for any team.

With the departure of Radim Vrbata, though, and the uncertainty surrounding where Max Domi will land this fall, the Finnish forward needs to do better than that. Unless something changes drastically in the next couple of weeks, it’s looking like the 28-year-old will be filling out the top-six forward roster at Gila River Arena come October.

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  • For newcomers to the team, his nine goal 2013-2014 season is cause for alarm- but for those who remember, Korpikoski’s first two seasons with the Coyotes saw him come close to hitting the 20 goal mark. In addition, he walked away from the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics with 2 goals and 2 assists, on a team that was good for the bronze medal overall.

    The team doesn’t need Korpikoski to become the next Sid Crosby, but he does need to step it up until Max Domi is ready to fill out the top-six role he was drafted for. Training Camp for the left winger needs to be about amping up his offense and pushing himself to come through for his team. His position has plenty of future depth (after all, Brendan Perlini‘s natural position is the left wing, as well), but he needs to be ready and available for the here and now. Watch him throughout September to see how well he prepares himself to step up and fill in the hole left behind by Vrbata in the offseason.