Lawson Crouse believes in Arizona Coyotes’ long-term vision, core
The Arizona Coyotes’ NHL roster is lacking in names from last year’s team that the organization has committed to long term, so there is significance attached to the new five-year contract for forward Lawson Crouse.
The deal worth an average of $4.3 million per season according to PHNX Sports’ Craig Morgan has Crouse joining Clayton Keller, Nick Schmaltz, Jakob Chychrun, Dysin Mayo and Karel Vejmelka as the sixth player on the roster that is signed beyond the next two years.
Crouse, a restricted free agent this offseason, discussed on Monday why he decided to stay in Arizona.
“I believe in the core of our team and I want to come out of this rebuild on top,” he said. “Arizona has been my home for the last six years and for me to have five more there and try and help the young guys forward and continue to work on my own game and build for the future. We want to be a Stanley Cup team and I believe we can. We just gotta work through it and it’s not always going to be easy but nothing good in life does come easy. In the end, it’ll all be worth it.”
The 25-year-old is coming off a great season in which he set career-highs for goals (20) and points (34) despite playing in only 63 games due to a late-season injury. Crouse has played for the Coyotes since 2016, and this year, he played in his biggest role yet with an average ice time of 17:26 that was also a personal best.
“I think it really just kind of showed what I’m capable of doing,” Crouse said of his performance last year. “As a player, I believe in myself and I feel that I can continue to grow on what I did last year. It’s exciting. Good times for myself and the Coyotes coming forward and looking forward to everything that’s in store.”
As Crouse alluded to, part of his role in the future will come down to mentoring some of the younger players on the team. Arizona’s got top 10 picks Dylan Guenther (ninth, 2021) and Logan Cooley (third, 2022) on the way that are going to have big expectations when they make it to the NHL.
Crouse is comfortable in that role.
“Naturally, I consider myself a leader,” Crouse said. “That’s just something that kind of comes natural with the way that I was raised and the way that I play the game. … I definitely realize the situation I’m in and some of the young guys that we have on this team, I know how much of an impact I can make on them by helping them grow as people and grow as players on and off the ice. Kind of just putting in the work and showing them how hard it is and what it truly takes to stay in this league and then continue to grow and eventually be a force in this league.”