4 players who must step up for the Arizona Coyotes after the All-Star Break

The Arizona Coyotes have hit a rough patch in what has otherwise been a successful season for one of the NHL’s most underrated teams.

Arizona Coyotes v Tampa Bay Lightning
Arizona Coyotes v Tampa Bay Lightning / Jaylynn Nash/GettyImages
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Time for Logan Cooley to become a game-changer

If you were to rank the NHL’s rookies this season, Logan Cooley would find himself near the top. And his numbers show it, with 25 points in 48 games, which ranks eighth on the team through the All-Star Break. The 19-year-old has also pitched in with a respectable 19 takeaways, showing us he’s not afraid to challenge opponents for puck possession. 

However, if the Coyotes want critics to uphold their newfound relevant status this season, Cooley must take the next step. This isn’t a critique of Cooley’s game, as he has more than performed well during his rookie season, but we need to see him start to take matters into his own hands if Arizona needs a game-changer to emerge.

Cooley may be the face of this long-suffering Coyotes franchise sooner than later, and the best way to hold the fans’ interest in the desert is to score that goal or make that big stop defensively to secure a win. If he does that a few times, look for Arizona to at least show some fight in the final 34 games of the season. But if he doesn’t take that next step quickly, it heightens the likelihood that the Coyotes will falter down the stretch.