Not much has gone right for the Arizona Coyotes to start the 2016-17. One reason is the lack of production from Anthony Duclair.
Starting the season with a whimper wasn’t in the playbook for the Arizona Coyotes, but here we are.
Even more concerning has been the lack of production from their “young guns”.
The chief disappointment so far this season has been Anthony Duclair.
He’s not shooting the puck. Duke isn’t scoring. Some nights he’s barely noticeable on the ice.
Let’s take a look at some stat lines for #10:
2014-15 — 18 games played, 1 goal, 6 assists, 18 shots, 5.6% shooting percentage
2016-17 — 13 games played, 1 goal, 2 assists, 17 shots, 5.9% shooting percentage
Duke has more or less replicated his output for the New York Rangers prior to being sent back to the Quebec Remparts and later being traded to the Arizona Coyotes in 2015.
That is a touch concerning because of the statistics Duclair put up in Glendale.
2015-16 — 81 games played, 20 goals, 24 assists, 105 shots, 19% shooting percentage
When you compare the three seasons so far, one of these things is not like the others.
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It’s Anthony Duclair’s insane shooting percentage from last season.
We mentioned it multiple times last year, as well as in his player grade after the season. Duke had the hot hand in 2015-16, but we don’t know if that was a fluke or if he truly channels fellow French-Canadian Alex Tanguay in the high career shooting percentage department.
We do know that we have a sample size of 31 games where Duclair has scored just two goals and produced a 5.7% shooting percentage.
If you’re an Arizona Coyotes fan, that’s at least mild cause for concern.
#10 is a third round draft pick who appeared to have been misevaluated by scouts.
His unwillingness to shoot hurts his ability to reach the next level, however.
Last season, we compared Duclair’s tendency to float in and out of games to former Washington Capitals star Alex Semin. The Russian winger also shot a pretty high percentage, but the catch there was Semin shot the puck a lot despite the label he was tagged with.
The question for the Arizona Coyotes is why isn’t Anthony Duclair shooting?
Then, if he doesn’t begin to shoot more often, which shooting percentage is closer to his “norm”?
If he’s closer to the league average shooting percentage of around nine percent, that means he would average about 10 goals per 105 shots instead of the 20 he put up on the same amount of shots last season.
Those numbers are the difference between a good player and a role-player with offensive upside.
Duke has every tool to succeed at a high level in the NHL.
He skates well, has speed, and possesses a filthy wrist shot. He’s very underrated as a playmaker and seemed primed to break out in 2016-17.
Which sample size is the real Anthony Duclair?
We don’t know.
But we’d prefer if he’d shoot more, and the question will hopefully answer itself.