As the first large offensive piece acquired during the offseason, Arizona Coyotes forward Alex Galchenyuk is feeling confident in the Coyotes youth to help the team make the next step in returning to the postseason.
If one thing is clear after the past couple of years, it is evident that Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka is looking to continue to build around Coyotes head coach Rich Tochett’s system that is largely based around youth and speed. For the first large offseason splash, the Coyotes traded forward Max Domi to the Montreal Canadians, acquiring streaky goalscoring forward Alex Galchenyuk.
"In an article that was posted on the Coyotes website yesterday, Galchenyuk said “If you look around the League, the teams that are winning started from almost scratch and slowly made their way up through young players and developing young players, and also having a great veteran presence,” Galchenyuk said. “If you look at our roster, we have that. I feel as a team we’re going to keep getting better and better, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”"
Galchenyuk is one major part that was acquired in the offseason along with forwards Michael Grabner and Vinnie Hinostroza in the hopes of helping the Coyotes increase their goal production. Although only time will tell if more moves will be made to help the Coyotes offensive output.
Along with being a notable offensive contributor, Galchenyuk will be able to help the Coyotes on the powerplay — an area where they struggled to find consistent scoring last season, finishing last season 26th in the League with a powerplay percentage of 16.9 percent. The Coyotes also finished dead last in the league in terms of powerplay percentage on home ice at 12.3 percent.
“I definitely take a lot of pride being on the power play,” Galchenyuk said. “When coaches put you out there, they expect big things out of you, and with so many games being tight-scoring games these days, a man advantage is huge. When you look at the roster for the Coyotes, there’s a lot of great playmakers … I’m happy to come in here and fit in here.”
Change in position
As Galchenyuk spent most of his time with the Canadians as a winger, the plan is to have him play a center role for the Coyotes at the start of training camp, and see how he is able to respond to it before allowing him to move to that position fulltime.
According to the same article that on the Coyotes website, Coyotes head coach Rick Tochett said, “I’ve communicated with Alex and he said he’d like to play center, I have no problem with a player who’d like to try something if he backs it up. So, I want to give him a chance at center if he wants to play it, and our coaching staff will try to give him the best possible help to play that center position. We’ll see how that goes.”
Wrapping it up
With a talented young Coyotes team looking to be on the rise for the upcoming season, and Galchenyuk seeking redemption for himself after qualifying for the playoffs once in the last three years with the Canadians — there is good reason for optimism to surround this Coyotes team for the upcoming season.