GLENDALE – Of all the Coyotes, it’s highly likely forward Mikkel Boedker is the one most looking forward to the 2015-16 season.
“It’s been a long summer so I’m kind of itching to get back, and now I’m here so it’s nice,” said Boedker, who recently returned to Arizona and began working out and skating informally with some of his teammates and others in Scottsdale this week.
Boedker last played an NHL game on January 18. It was on that night in Winnipeg that he suffered a ruptured spleen that required emergency surgery. Seven months later, he is champing at the bit to get back on NHL ice. He has returned to his playing weight of 205 pounds and is looking forward, not back.
“I definitely don’t want to go through something like that again,” Boedker said. “Everything is looking positive, 100 percent, and I’m skating like all the other guys are. It’s feeling really good and there hasn’t been one issue since so that’s positive.”
Boedker, 25, notched 14 goals and 14 assists in 45 games last season before the injury. Just before his season ended, Boedker put together a career-best four-game goal scoring streak, and his shooting percentage for the season was 17.7 percent – also a career-high.
As a restricted free agent this summer, Boedker signed a one-year contract to return to the Coyotes, the team that selected him eighth overall in the 2008 NHL Draft. He’s hoping to set more career-highs this season and make a significant impact on a team that will need goal scorers to emerge.
Boedker is pleased the team has re-acquired forwards Antoine Vermette and Boyd Gordon, and defenseman Zbynek Michalek. He said all three are solid teammates on a club that plays with a pack mentality.
Regarding Vermette, Boedker said he’s eager to pick his brain about his experience with the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks last season.
“Winning the Cup, that was huge for him and obviously we can all learn a lot from him now,” Boedker said.
Follow Dave Vest on Twitter: @davest4yotes