Coyotes forward Enver Lisin is making the most of his latest chance to stick in the NHL.
Lisin has notched four goals and two assists in nine games since being recalled from the team’s top affiliate in the American Hockey League, including a slick breakaway goal on Sunday night against Chicago.
Selected by Phoenix in the second round (50th overall) of the 2004 NHL Draft, Lisin has bounced around a lot in his first three seasons with the organization.
In 2006-07, Lisin played 17 games with the Coyotes before being assigned to the AHL. Lisin opted to return his native Russia for the rest of the season and finished the 2006-07 campaign with Ak-Bars Kazan of the Russian Super League.
Since we brought him up, he has been a man. He is playing really well right now." - Wayne Gretzky
Lisin returned to North America for the 2007-08 season with the ultimate goal of sticking in the NHL.
“The NHL is the best league in the world,” said Lisin, who has 10 goals and four assists in 40 career NHL games. “It’s very hard to play and make it here.”
Playing a big portion of his games in San Antonio during the 2007-08 season, Lisin scored 16 goals along with 19 assists for 35 points in 58 games.
“I tried to have fun every day in San Antonio, have fun in every game and just work hard,” Lisin said. “I can’t end my career because I get sent down.”
Lisin made the Coyotes roster for the 2008-09 season, but he played in just two of the first seven Coyotes games before again being sent to San Antonio.
“I wasn’t playing in Phoenix so I got sent down to San Antonio to play some games,” Lisin said. “I got a chance to show I can play hockey and work on my skills.”
Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky believes Lisin has the tools needed to succeed in the NHL.
There are a lot of good skaters in the league, a lot of fast skaters in the league and he is up there with any one of them,” Gretzky said. “His stride is powerful and he is skating extremely hard.”
|Coyotes forward Enver Lisin scored the game-winning goal against the Los Angeles Kings and celebrates with Kevin Porter at Jobing.com Arena. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images) |
In 10 games with San Antonio this season, Lisin scored two goals and added four assists for six points.
“You work a little bit harder after you get sent down,” Lisin said. “I just tried to play hockey. It’s my favorite thing in life. It doesn’t matter where you play. I have to be more professional playing in North America. I also had to get a little bigger and more physical here. I added 15 pounds in the summer…I got called up and my chance to play in the NHL. I’ve tried to be more aggressive.”
Gretzky has seen improvement in Lisin since his return.
“Since we brought him up, he has been a man,” Gretzky said. “He is playing really well right now. The rules, with the way they are right now, if he takes the puck to the net like he is doing, he’s either going to get a scoring opportunity or he’s going to create a penalty. We’re thrilled with how he is playing and we just hope he continues to make those strides and continue every night.”