Anthony Duclair has been back to form recently for the Arizona Coyotes.
Offensive woes have plagued the Arizona Coyotes throughout the 2016-17 season.
Goal-scorers aren’t scoring, role-players aren’t scoring. No one is scoring.
In those past six games, the Duke has scored two goals and tallied two assists.
The recent outburst of scoring has been a nice reminder of his 20-goal season last year.
It seems quite unlikely that Duclair could reach those heights again this season given his slow start, but there’s no reason he can’t finish more respectably than he started.
Where He Started
Anthony Duclair’s issues last season (despite the 20 goals) and this season are simple.
He does not shoot the puck enough to be a goal-scorer, but he is a goal-scorer.
The Duke has an excellent shot and is a pretty deadly accessory on any offensive attack, unfortunately that’s not the #10 we see night-in and night-out.
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Duclair has a tendency to float in and out of games and that affects the amount of shots he takes on a given night.
The 21-year-old has taken zero shots in nine games this season and just one shot in 13 games.
That’s right, in more than half of the games Anthony Duclair has played this season (22 of 37) he’s averaged one shot on goal or less.
That pace is hardly a recipe for success for the team or for a player who is capable of scoring twenty to thirty goals per season.
Where He’s Been Recently
In his past seven games, Anthony Duclair has picked up the pace in a number of ways.
Most notably, however, he has begun to shut the puck more.
He’s shot the puck two or more times in five of those seven outings, and totaled 16 shots on goal in all in that time frame.
In fact, if you look at his season as a whole, 31% of the shots taken by Duclair have came in those seven games.
It’s not a surprise that with increased volume has come increased production. After all, 51 shots in 37 games isn’t going to cut it for a man paid to score goals.
Suddenly, however, Duke has become more assertive.
He’s carrying the puck into the zone. Shooting more. Attempting to create his own shot instead of set up others.
If this is a trend that continues, Duclair could turn 2016-17 into a respectable season for himself despite the poor start.
That would be a major win for the Arizona Coyotes moving forward.
Where Is He Going?
This is the million dollar question with Anthony Duclair.
We truly do not know where he’s going as a player.
His numbers in 2016-17 are comparable to his partial rookie season with the Rangers in 2014-15.
The totals he put up in 2015-16 were inflated by a 19% shooting percentage.
Is his ceiling still twenty goals if he increases his volume, or did he have one lucky run through the league as players sometimes do?
Watching Duclair play leads me to believe he is more than capable of those twenty goals, but to get there he has to get out of his own way.
He is prone to get into his own head at times. He’s also certainly a player who has a little more passivity in his game than fans or head coach Dave Tippett would prefer.
We’ve called for Duke to shoot more. Tipp has called for him to shoot more and make things happen, as well.
Duclair has been doing just that in the past several games.
If he can find a way to stay in that gear, he has the skill to be an important piece in Arizona for years to come.