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Duclair signs one-year contract with Coyotes

22-year-old restricted free agent forward reportedly gets $1.2 million

NHL.com @NHL

Forward Anthony Duclair signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday.

Financial terms were not announced, but the contract is for $1.2 million, according to CapFriendly.com.

"Obviously, last season was a little rough for myself," said Duclair, who had 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) and was minus-7 in 58 games for the Coyotes in 2016-17. "A good learning experience, but at the same time, I just wanted to prove myself this year, that I can play at an elite level like I did my rookie season, and hopefully I'll have a better contract next summer." 

Video: ARI@DAL: Duclair rips wrister past Niemi to tie game

Duclair, who was a restricted free agent, was sent down to Tucson of the American Hockey League on Jan. 19. He had eight points (one goal, seven assists) in 16 AHL games before being recalled March 1.

Duclair, 22, had 44 points (20 goals, 24 assists) and was plus-12 in 81 games as a rookie with the Coyotes in 2015-16. Selected by the New York Rangers in the third round (No. 80) of the 2013 NHL Draft, he was acquired by Arizona in a trade for defenseman Keith Yandle on March 1, 2015.

General manager John Chayka said the Coyotes want Duclair to create more offense for himself under first-year coach Rick Tocchet, who was hired July 11 to replace Dave Tippett after they missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a fifth consecutive season.

"He's a pretty unique player. He's a shooter, he's a goal-scorer, but he's got a touch with the puck and he can make plays," Chayka said. "It's more about using his skating to be more involved, and that's Rick Tocchet's system. So, if he can use his skating to put pressure on defenses and turn pucks over, and if that leads to him spending more time in the offensive zone with talented players, they can set him up and he can put them in the net. It's just a holistic approach. You've got to be committed to 200 feet of the ice and [Tocchet] is going to push him to do that."

In 157 games for the Coyotes and Rangers, Duclair has 66 points (26 goals, 40 assists).

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