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The Arizona Coyotes have avoided arbitration with Mikkel Boedker, reaching a one-year, $3.75 million deal with the left winger. Boedker scored 14 goals and 28 points in 45 games this past season, but missed the final 37 games of the campaign after having his spleen removed.
Arizona Coyotes restricted free agent Mikkel Boedker filed for arbitration Sunday, but before the left winger and the Coyotes headed to arbitration, they reached a one-year deal that will pay Boedker $3.75 million next season, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.
Boedker, 25, is coming off of a fairly productive season in which he notched 14 goals and 28 points in 45 games. Boedker had been an ironman since making his full-time NHL debut, missing games only when he was either scratched or in the AHL, but he missed the back half of the past season with a spleen injury. The injury kept him out of the lineup for 37 contests. Even still, Boedker’s play earned him a raise of $1.2 million on his new one-year deal.
Though it had taken some time for Boedker to really make his mark in the Coyotes lineup, it appeared he was well on his way before the injury sidelined him this past season. After setting career highs in almost every offensive category in 2013-14 – Boedker scored 19 goals, 51 points and five power play tallies – Boedker looked primed to best those totals in 2014-15 and break the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his NHL career.
Boedker, along with Martin Hanzal, is one of the few remaining forwards from the last generation of Coyotes draft selections that showed some true promise. Others, like Peter Mueller and Kyle Turris, have since been dealt or moved on. The next generation, players such as Max Domi, Anthony Duclair, Dylan Strome, are on their way now, though, but that could come just as Boedker looks to walk out the door.
The one-year deal with Arizona ensures that Boedker will again be an RFA at the end of next season, but the Coyotes will have to make a big decision about whether or not to ink the Danish winger to a long-term deal following the upcoming campaign. If they see him as a big part of their plans, which they likely do seeing as he can be a good second-line option for Arizona, Boedker could command upwards of $4 million on his deal next season. If he has another career year, it could be more than $4.5 million due to Boedker in 2016-17.
While he’s not the best possession player in the game, he has speed to burn, which might be his greatest asset. In a game that consistently gets quicker, having a speedy winger at their disposal could help the Coyotes during the next few seasons, which will almost surely be trying as the club looks to rebuild following an abysmal 2014-15 campaign.
Boedker was the eighth overall selection in the 2008 draft and made his NHL debut in 2008-09, suiting up for 78 games and scoring 11 goals and 28 points. Over the course of 383 NHL contests, Boedker has amassed 67 goals and 174 points.