Hot Duclair set to face Rangers for first time since trade

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Pundits had rock bottom expectations for Arizona going into this season and one of the reasons the Coyotes have turned some heads is because of Anthony Duclair‘s play.

He leads all rookies with five goals and is tied for first place with seven points. It’s gotten to the point where Coyotes GM Don Maloney isn’t sure where the team would be without the combination of Duclair and fellow rookie Max Domi, per TSN.ca.

It all made Arizona’s trade with the Rangers look very favorable for the Coyotes. In order to acquire Keith Yandle, Chris Summers, and a 2016 fourth-round pick in March, the New York Rangers had to send Arizona Anthony Duclair, John Moore, and 2015 second rounder (Oliver Kylington), and a first-round pick in one of the next two drafts.

That trade shocked Duclair, but it also gave him an opportunity after the Rangers’ unusual handling of him last season. With the team’s sights set on the Stanley Cup, the Rangers frequently made him a healthy scratch and when he was inserted into the lineup, his playing time was limited. Despite that, the Rangers kept him on their roster until December when they loaned him to Team Canada for the World Juniors. After he excelled in the tournament, he was returned to the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts.

After doing everything he can to secure a role with his new team, he’ll have an opportunity to show the Rangers what they gave up tonight when Arizona plays in New York.

Related: Coyotes’ kids are beyond alright: Duclair notches first hat trick