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Arizona Coyotes’ Alex Galchenyuk to make season debut on Tuesday

Arizona Coyotes center Alex Galchenyuk (17) celebrates his goal as Los Angeles Kings right wing Tyler Toffoli (73) skates past during the first period of an NHL preseason hockey game Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

It’s official. Alex Galchenyuk, a center traded to the Coyotes in the offseason from the Montreal Canadiens, will make his team and season debut on Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Coyotes tweeted Tuesday that head coach Rick Tocchet confirmed that Galchenyuk would be in the lineup that night. Per the Coyotes’ Dave Vest, Galchenyuk was seen in practice playing center on a line with Lawson Crouse and Clayton Keller.

The 24-year-old Galchenyuk scored two goals in a 4-2 Coyotes preseason win over the Los Angeles Kings on Sept. 18 before the injury.

He was cleared for contact last week.

Galchenyuk’s return could boost an offense that ranks last in the NHL in goals per game at 1.43 and is 30th in power play percentage.

The 24-year-old scored a career-high 30 goals in 2015-16 and added nine power play goals in both 2015-16 and 2017-18.

The No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft scored 19 goals with 32 assists last season.

Galchenyuk would also boost the Coyotes’ depth at center after the team announced on Friday that center Christian Dvorak would be out for an indefinite period of time after undergoing surgery for a torn pectoral muscle.

The Coyotes’ game against the Blue Jackets starts at 4 p.m. in Columbus on ESPN 620 AM.


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