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Sportsnet: Coyotes’ Duclair could be a hidden gem at trade deadline

Arizona Coyotes left wing Anthony Duclair (10) drives against New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) in the second period during an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The NHL trade deadline is looming on Feb. 26th and it is no secret that Anthony Duclair is on the Arizona Coyotes’ trade block.

His offensive prowess along with the fact the forward is only 22 years old makes him a prime target for teams with playoff aspirations seeking extra offense down the stretch.

Despite appearing in only 33 of the team’s 43 games this season, Duclair is fourth on the team in goals and ninth in points, and the advanced metrics on him have shown that he is one of the most effective players on the Coyotes, as Sportsnet’s Jonathan Willis points out.

His hourly even strength goal differential over the last three years is in the black at 0.13. Overall in that time span, without Duclair on the ice, the Coyotes are in the red at negative 0.84.

Related: Anthony Duclair’s time with Coyotes likely nearing an end

The Coyotes’ Corsi differential improves drastically with Duclair in the lineup, Sportsnet’s research showed. Corsi is an advanced hockey metric that analyzes shot quality at even strength.

In the past, his role as an offensive specialist has allowed him to get away with sloppy play on the defensive end. For first-year head coach Rick Tocchet, the ineffectiveness on the defensive end has been a noticeable concern and led to several healthy scratches.

The scratches, in turn, have led to a trade request out of the Duclair camp and most likely, an end to his stint in the Valley.

Duclair is currently riding a two-game goal streak to start 2018 as the team hopes to improve their league-low 23 points earned in 2017.

The schedule flips for Arizona in 2018 and they will enjoy more games at home than at the beginning of the season. A welcome blessing for Tocchet who leads the second youngest team in the NHL, a team that could benefit from extra practice time and playing in the comfort of their home arena.

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