After a strong postseason appearance in the 2011-2012 season, the Phoenix Coyotes were met by a great deal of disappointment throughout the 2013 season. They were never able to find their footing, particularly on offense, and ended up missing out on the postseason party.
It wasn’t all gloom and doom for the Yotes during the regular season, though. One of a few positives for them during the lockout-shortened campaign was the play of Mikkel Boedker, who continues to demonstrate that he’s transforming into a legitimate top six player at this level.
The development of Boedker has taken longer than many would have liked. That’s not entirely his fault, as he came to this organization during a regime change, which saw him bounce back and forth between Phoenix and the AHL level, which certainly hampered his development.
Had the 2013 season been a full year, Boedker would have easily blown away his career highs. He finished with 26 points, just two behind his previous career mark, despite playing in only 48 games. Seven of his points came from putting the puck in the back of the net, four behind his career best.
Now the work really begins for Boedker. Not only does he have to come up with a big 2013-14 campaign to prove that he belongs with this team and cement his position in the top six, the Coyotes would also like him to focus on one element of his game that is lacking: his intensity.
The Coyotes reportedly want Boedker to come with a bit more of a mean streak. With 77 hits in 48 games, it’s pretty clear that Boedker plays bigger than his size might indicate. But the Coyotes want him to pick up the aggressiveness and add that to his skill set next season.
Already equipped with fantastic speed and vision, adding that element to his game could make Mikkel Boedker an even tougher player to deal with heading into the future. After fading a bit towards the end of the year, it’s already pretty clear that he has some heavy expectations awaiting him as the Coyotes prepare for next season.