It’s safe to say that the Phoenix Coyotes have had a terrific offseason to this point. They signed one of the top free agents on the market, in Mike Ribeiro, drafted a potential impact player in Max Domi, and locked down their future in the desert for at least the next several years.
The next pressing issue on their agenda is a new deal for Mikkel Boedker. A new contract for Boedker has been at the top of the priority list for the Coyotes since their offseason began, technically when the regular season did, as they missed out on the postseason for the first time in the Dave Tippett era. With free agency underway for the last several days, the urgency for a deal is a bit higher.
Negotiations are ongoing between the two sides, but we don’t really have an indication of what Boedker is looking for, nor do we really know where the two sides stand in negotiations. We can at least try and figure out what Boedker should get, in terms of years and, especially, dollars.
The past two seasons have been pretty positive ones for Boedker, who endured several years within the organization before finally managing to stick. His development was stunted initially, when he was rushed up to the top level, and then continued as he bounced back and forth between the Coyotes and the AHL.
But the last two years, the 2013 season in particular, we’ve seen signs of Boedker emerging as a key offensive player for this club for the next several years. His 0.5 points per game in 2013 was easily the highest scoring rate of his career, with his 26 points falling just two short of his career high in the shortened season.
Boedker’s play goes beyond what he does in terms of his offensive production, though. He’s a tough matchup for opposing forwards because of his speed, in addition to the fact that he plays much bigger than his 5’11″ frame. He’s a physical player, ranking fifth on the team in hits in 2013, with 77.
In terms of the years Boedker could see in a new deal, two or three seems likely. The Coyotes likely want to see more from Boedker before handing over a long-term contract, so that type of term on a new deal seems fair. As far as the money goes, between $2.5-3 million seems about right. Not only would it be a pretty cap friendly deal, a contract on that short a term also means he’d be a restricted free agent the next time around, perhaps when it’s time for a longer term contract.
It’s only a matter of time before a deal gets done between the two sides. It’ll be interesting to see what this deal ends up looking like, as Boedker still has plenty to prove at this level. As for the threat of an offer sheet, that probably isn’t a great concern for the organization at this point.