For what is very likely the first time in their history, the Phoenix Coyotes head into a season with high expectations. After a deep playoff run last year, they looked primed to make another one, and potentially make some noise for a Stanley Cup championship.
While that may seem like hyperbole for the small market Yotes, there is plenty of young talent that indicates a strong future for this team. They have a solid core in place, and a couple of young guys that could be looking to break out in the very near future.
One of those guys is Mikkel Boedker.
Boedker has been a bit frustrating of a prospect due to how long he has taken to develop in his time in Phoenix. He was drafted in 2008, played a year, with decent results, and then was unable to crack the lineup again until this year. Initially, the Coyotes had called him up too soon, which likely stalled his development in the same way that the team did to Kyle Turris.
His numbers overall weren’t impressive, with just 24 points in 82 games. But it was how he finished that has many excited about Boedker’s future. He had points in three of his last four games in the regular season, before putting on a very strong display in the playoffs.
Boedker finished with eight points in the postseason, including a pair of overtime goals against the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. He finished with four goals and four assists for the postseason.
There’s no doubt that Boedker has the skill set to be a very good player at the NHL level. He’s not the biggest guy on the ice, at 5’11″, but he’s extremely fast. That size mixed with that speed is going to be a nightmare match-up for opposing defensemen.
With the way he finished, Boedker could very well see an uptick in ice time this season. It will be interesting to see how he performs. If the way he played in the key moments for the Coyotes in last year’s playoffs is any indication, he could be ready to break out in 2013.