Anthony Duclair went out and did something must NHL players don’t do. After travelling from team to team, signing contract after contract, he represented himself without an agent during contract negotiations back in 2020. Continuing the trend into the next season, Duclair secured himself a three-year contract and a home within the National Hockey League.
Anthony Duclair Hits Jackpot with Florida
Looking back, it is hard to find many players as talented as Anthony Duclair that have struggled to find a consistent home—playing for six different teams over his eight-year career. As one of the faster players in the league, Duclair needed to find the right system for him. As talented as Duclair is, not every team and system is the right fit. This goes for a lot of other players struggling to crack an NHL lineup. But that is a story for another time.
Nonetheless, Duclair is exactly where he belongs. For example, during his 53-game season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, he only had 19 points. Playing in a more defensive-minded system does not translate well with his game of speed and quickness.
For the past few years now, Florida has been known for its run and gun offensive style of play. Finishing in the top ten for Goals For dating back to the 2018-19 season, the Panthers love a quick transition game built around their speed. Enter Anthony Duclair.
The Duke can fly! 🙀 pic.twitter.com/37gYZ6ek7t
— Jameson Olive (@JamesonCoop) October 28, 2021
Joining the Florida Panthers is the best decision he has made for his career. While Duclair very easily could have stayed with the Ottawa Senators at the end of the 2019-20 season, they were offering him plenty of cash. Duclair decided it was time to step up or shut up. And boy, did it pay off. Securing the “bag,” Duclair landed himself a nice new contract, three million AAV, a first-line position, and a beautiful home with excellent weather year-round.
Success Contiunes for Duclair
As mentioned above, joining Florida was the best thing Duclair did for his career. Straightaway there was a difference with him in the lineup. Before his tenure with the Panthers, Duclairs point production was still noteworthy, but he still seemed out of place. Duclair would have a highlight reel goal or a couple of points a night from time to time. Yet overall a very streaky scorer, with glimpses of dry spells of scoring. This has improved significantly since becoming a member of the Florida Panthers.
To begin with, a lot of Duclairs offensive numbers have improved since coming to Sunrise. Duclair has had no problem adjusting to Florida’s system, whether it is his advanced stats or his production numbers. Out of all the teams he’s played on, he currently has the best Corsi For percentage sitting at 57.7 percent. His best On-ice Goals For Per 60 with 4.4 and his best On-ice Goals Against Per 60 with 1.7. Everything Duclair has done has been an improvement within the Sunshine State. And if that is not enough for you, maybe the charts will help (thanks Evolving Hockey.)
Duclair 2021-22 (so far):
At the end of the day, Anthony Duclair is playing some of his best hockey yet, all because he went out and bet on himself. Wrapping up the 2020-21 season, Duclair played in just 43 games and finished with ten goals and 32 points, leaving him sixth on the team in points. Fast-forward to now, and Duclair currently leads the team in five and is seventh in points as of today. He is also top ten in GAR and WAR to start this season, despite the lack of games played in general.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images