Arizona Coyotes prospect Christian Dvorak has come a long way since being drafted 58th overall in 2014. How does the American-born center figure into the Coyotes plans moving forward?
Surprisingly, however, it was not Strome but Christian Dvorak who crested the 100-point plateau first in the Ontario Hockey League this season.
Not only has he crested it, but he has continued to run away with it.
It’s not Dvo’s first season with impressive production. He broke the 100-point plateau in 2014-15 with the Knights playing alongside Max Domi, whom you might have heard of.
What he did in 2014-15 (109 points in 66 games) was a surprise, but he’s already produced 119 points in just 57 games in London this season.
His production is no flash in the pan and it’s fair to speculate on the possibility of Dvorak having more offensive upside in the NHL than previously expected.
To be clear, Dvorak is a man among boys in the OHL. He’s 20-years-old, while other stars putting up stats of a similar caliber are 18 and 19. That doesn’t temper the excitement that the kid has begun to elicit terms like “steal” and “coup” surrounding the Arizona Coyotes selecting him late in the 2nd round.
Hockey’s Future touted Dvorak’s “ability to finish around the net and vision are top notch” and that “his work ethic and tireless compete level make him a difficult player to contain.”
You can see the vision, finish, and drive all in one go in this goal scored by Dvorak on a Sonny Milano feed in the World Junior Championships against Russia:
Despite that, the London Knights captain has been viewed as a 3rd line center with potential 2nd line upside.
The question on the minds of Arizona Coyotes fans moving forward is can he be more than that, however.
Could Dvorak be the Coyotes’ Patrice Bergeron or Johnny Gaudreau? Is Dvorak another player everyone passed on once or even multiple times and the ensuing chip on their shoulder drove them to greatness?
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Might Dvorak’s misfortune in suffering that ACL injury in 2013 turn into a massive gain for Arizona?
We’ve seen nothing from the 20-year-old to diminish that hope and plenty to burnish it. He’s seven points back of the OHL lead and he’s outscored talented and touted linemates Mitch Marner and Matthew Tkachuk throughout the 2015-16 season.
His goal-scoring prowess has increased as you would expect, and he plays a solid two-way game that may find him a bit more palatable to Dave Tippett’s style and system than his more heralded peer Dylan Strome.
With a huge offseason upcoming and several potential moves on the table, the Arizona Coyotes should be loathe to part with Dvorak in any attempt to bolster the team’s blue line.
He’s done it for two seasons now and seems primed to help Dylan Strome fill a deep need for a Yotes team that is rather anemic down the middle offensively.
There’s been much talk about Auston Matthews, but Dvorak and Strome may already be the one-two punch the Arizona Coyotes have been waiting for all these years.