Duclair: ‘I don’t have much to prove’ in junior

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Anthony Duclair doesn’t want to go back to junior. Even if it means playing a much smaller role with the New York Rangers than he’d get with the Quebec Remparts. And, yes, even if it means the odd healthy scratch.

“I’d rather be here than in juniors playing first line, that’s for sure,” Duclair said today, per NHL.com.

“I think it’s better for me to stay up here. To be honest, it doesn’t matter if I’m not playing every game. Practicing with these type of players every day and being around a pro environment definitely will help me in the future. I think if I go back to junior I don’t have much to prove there anymore.”

The Rangers have already burned the first year of Duclair’s contract, so that’s not an issue. What is an issue, though, is the fact he’s been a healthy scratch the past three games, ever since that “unacceptable” loss to Edmonton.

But Duclair will be back in the lineup tonight versus Tampa Bay. Can he convince coach Alain Vigneault to keep him there?

“For myself, I have to make sure when I’m in there I have to make an impact,” he said.

Duclair has one goal and five assists in 12 games this season, but no points, and just two shots, in his last three outings.

Related: Rangers make trade, open spot for preseason star Duclair