Scratch another of the restricted free agents off the list. According to TSN and SportsNet, the Phoenix Coyotes and Mikkel Boedker have agreed to a two-year deal. The former 2008, 8th overall pick previously signed an entry-level deal worth $1.725 million per season (cap hit). The financial terms of the new agreement have not been released.
After being rushed to the NHL as an 18-year-old, the Coyotes took a step back with their prized winger and sent him to San Antonio in the AHL to work on his game in the 2009-10 season. More importantly, the team hoped he would regain his confidence by playing with the Rampage. He started the 2010-11 season back in the AHL before making the jump up to the big club in January. He ended up contributing 4 goals and 10 assists in 34 games with the Coyotes last season. After the Coyotes first round exit, he represented Denmark in the World Championships for the second time in his career.
Despite his lackluster career thus far, Boedker still figures to be an important winger for the Coyotes’ future. He, Brett MacLean, and Kyle Turris are all looked at as the offensive core for Phoenix going forward. For both Boedker and Turris, it’s easy to make the argument that their struggles at the NHL level were caused more by organizational mistakes than poor development. Both prospects were asked to jump into an NHL line-up when they both could have used another season developing their game—whether it was in Kitchener for Boedker or the University of Wisconsin for Turris. But now, both look like they’re in the NHL for good.
Next season Boedker will look to build on the momentum that he started to build towards the end of last season. All things considered, it is imperative for the Coyotes future that both the dynamic Dane and Turris continue developing. Boedker started to show signs at the end of the year of the type of offensive player the Coyotes hoped they were drafting when they picked him ahead of guys like Tyler Myers and Erik Karlsson. Regardless, the terms of any deal will be based more on potential than actual performance. But if he can overcome the tragic career mismanagement by the Coyotes, he still has all the tools to be a world class scorer.
The Coyotes are counting on it.