Coyotes captain Shane Doan
remembers once telling Wojtek Wolski how good he thought he was during a game between Phoenix and Colorado before the two forwards recently became teammates.
Now that Wolski is with the Coyotes, he’ll probably be hearing a lot more compliments from Doan.
|Doan and Wolski. (Photo by Norm Hall) |
“He’s one of those guys that has a lot of skill and he’s going to do really well, and I think he’s a great talent and someone that can really help us out this year,” Doan said.
General Manager Don Maloney acquired Wolski from the Avalanche before the NHL trade deadline to add offense and utlimately help the Coyotes get into the playoffs this season.
“He’s a left winger, and he’s got good size, great hands, and he’s very skilled,” Maloney said.
Wolski came to Phoenix with 302 regular-season games on his resume. In those games, he notched 73 goals and 120 assists for 193 points. The native of Zabrze, Poland also has played in 15 NHL playoff games and has recorded three goals and six assists in those games.
Through 63 games this season – including one with the Coyotes – Wolski has tallied 18 goals and 30 assists, and he is tied with Doan with a team-leading 48 points on the season. He also has 23 penalty minutes and a plus-minus rating of plus-16.
Wolski was a first-round choice (21st overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft and he has joined four fellow members of the 2004 draft class in the Coyotes dressing room. Those players are Petteri Nokelainen (first round, 16th overall), Lauri Korpikoski
(first round, 19th overall), Sami Lepisto (third round, 66th overall) and Daniel Winnik (ninth round, 265th overall).
Wolski’s first game with the Coyotes came against the Avalanche, a day after they traded him to Phoenix. To mark the occasion, Wolski scored the game-winning goal with just 23 seconds left in regulation.
Wolski embraces the responsibility of being expected to provide offense.
|Wolski scored a key goal in his first game with Phoenix. (Photo by Norm Hall) |
“Obviously, it can be a stressful situation, there’s pressure, but that’s part of hockey and that’s part of trying to be, and being, an elite player,” Wolski said.
One of the things Wolski first noticed about the Coyotes dressing room is how strong the team’s chemistry is.
“The guys seem to really gel well and I think that’s good when the team is a good group of guys,” Wolski said. “It makes it a lot easier to come in here and meet everyone.”
Doan said the positive vibe inside the Coyotes dressing room should help make Wolski’s move to Phoenix a smooth one.
“It’s big to feel comfortable in your new surroundings and we’ve got a pretty good room, a pretty easy going group of guys that will make it, hopefully, a seamless transition for him,” Doan said.