It’s been an up and down season for the Phoenix Coyotes, but they’re beginning to see some of their young talent emerge as stars in the NHL. Much of that talent is on the blue line, but one player who is certainly making a name for himself so far in 2013 is Mikkel Boekder.
Boedker has been with the organization for longer than many people realize. He was drafted in 2008 and played with the Coyotes in 2008-2009, posting 28 points in 78 games as a 19-year-old. The following two years saw inconsistent playing time for Boedker, and it hampered his development.
The fact that Boedker couldn’t stick with the Coyotes consistently definitely set him back. He played in 14 games up with Phoenix in 2009-2010 and 34 in the following season. That front office and coaching staff just couldn’t seem to decide if they wanted to keep Boedker up or have him work as a top line player in the minors.
Last year, Boedker played a full season with the Coyotes. He played in all 82 games and posted 24 points. Though he went through several quiet stretches, he started to find his game towards the end of the season, especially in the playoffs. He had a pair of overtime goals to help the Coyotes advance beyond the first round for the first time since they moved to Phoenix.
In a shortened season this year, it looks like Boedker could put up some of his best numbers yet. He has 18 points in 26 games on the year, including a pair of goals as the Coyotes laid a beating on the defending champion Los Angeles Kings earlier this week.
We’ve seen Boedker skate up in the top six for the Coyotes this season and it’s pretty clear he belongs there. He’s incredibly fast up and down the ice, which is dangerous in itself. He’s got on the puck, plays a bit more physical game than you’d expect from someone who’s 5’11” and demonstrates solid playmaking skills to set up his teammates.
This kid is going to be a star in the very near future, and he’s starting to show signs of it this year.