Arizona Coyotes 2015-16 Player Grades: Anthony Duclair


With the Arizona Coyotes 2015-16 season complete, it’s time to dive into each player’s performance and make a final tally on how they fared this season.

Arizona Coyotes rookie Anthony Duclair had a strong debut campaign in Glendale as part of the franchise’s first wave of promising youth.

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Duclair chipped in 20 goals and 24 assists to finish third in goal-scoring and fourth on the team in points.

The 20-year-old (now 21) forward made the team out of camp along with best friend Max Domi.

The two combined to form a productive duo and tantalizing glimpse of the future of Coyotes hockey.

Duke displayed a beautiful shot and showcased an ability to generate possession for an Arizona Coyotes group that struggled mightily in that area.

He produced some wonderful highlights throughout the season. The kind of moments that Yotes fans have been waiting on for a while.

Bar two specific goals that involved Shane Doan, Duclair’s Peter Forsberg-esque effort was the goal of the season. It encapsulated everything about the Arizona Coyotes and their push for a new look and new attitude.

It’s hard to pick too many nits with a rookie campaign that produced 20 goals, but there are parts of Anthony Duclair’s game that require some work.

Duke wasn’t the most consistent player on a night-in, night-out basis.

While Domi often found a way to make an impact regardless of being on the score sheet, Duclair had a bit of an Alex Semin-quality to his game by appearing to float in and out from contest to contest if he wasn’t scoring goals.

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The other thing separating the two friends as franchise cornerstones at this point in their careers is the commitment to defensive play.

As the season wore on, Head Coach Dave Tippett began to deploy Max Domi in defensive situations and on the penalty kill. He never reached that level of trust with Anthony Duclair.

To be a vital part of this franchise moving forward, Duke will have to develop his skills in his own zone and become at least a viable defensive presence.

Another aspect of Duke’s game which needs attention is his aggression level. Too often #10 deferred to other, lesser skilled players for shot opportunities when he had an opportunity of his own.

105 shots in 81 games played is not going to cut it moving forward.

It’s unlikely that he’ll post a 19% shooting percentage again. Adding volume to the quality of his release will benefit the team in many ways, not the least being on the scoreboard.

Duclair’s potential ceiling still seems very much up in the air heading into his sophomore season.

He could develop into a perennial 30 goal-scorer alongside the team’s other talented youth, or he could regress if he doesn’t increase his own shot volume.

Next: The 10 Best Coyotes Goals From The 2nd Half of 2015-16

Glancing at the stats and looking at raw ability, there seems to be a decent gulf between the future output of Duclair and someone like fellow forward Tobias Rieder.

In practice, however, one season has not fully convinced me that is the case. A lot hinges on Duclair’s growth in all areas, and whether he’s as lucky with his shot in year two as he was in year one.