ARIZONA COYOTES

Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller sees himself playing veteran role on young team

Jan 7, 2024, 12:04 PM | Updated: 8:41 pm

Clayton Keller #9 of the Arizona Coyotes skates with the puck during the NHL game at Mullett Arena ...

Clayton Keller #9 of the Arizona Coyotes skates with the puck during the NHL game at Mullett Arena on December 27, 2023 in Tempe, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Avalanche 5-4 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Friday that he sees himself playing a veteran role given how young his teammates are.

“I’ve played here for a while now, like seven years, and it’s pretty crazy how time flies, but I’m definitely comfortable here,” Keller, 25, said. “I know how things work and it’s great to be able to share some knowledge to the younger players and (answer) any question they might have and things like that. I can get a lot (of questions about) coming straight from college or junior or whatever it is. It’s nice to kinda lead them in the right direction and show them the ropes.”

Keller was named to his fourth All-Star Game on Thursday. His four NHL All-Star Game appearances are the most in franchise history.

But after taking part in All-Star Games in San Jose, Las Vegas and Sunrise, this year’s game in Toronto will be a sharp contrast for Keller.

“It’s the hockey Mecca there and they love their hockey, so I’m really looking forward to it,” Keller said.

Keller leads the Coyotes with 31 points accumulated (13 goals, 18 assists) through 37 games this season. His four game-winning goals and 105 shots this season are also the most on the team.

His five power play goals puts him behind only Nick Schmaltz’s seven and his 14 goals slots him behind only Lawson Crouse’s 16.

“I think we have a great leadership group with Lawson Crouse and Nick Schmaltz and it’s exciting times for sure,” Keller said.

NHL Hockey Ops selected Keller as the one representative from the Coyotes before fans vote for the final 12 league-wide selections. Fans can vote on X by tagging “#NHLAllStarVote” with the player’s full name or site handle.

“We’ve had a lot of guys play very well this year and guys that could’ve easily been there as well,” Keller said. “Connor Ingram has been unbelievable. He’s been our MVP of the season so far.”

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