Lawson Crouse has been a big part of this Arizona Coyotes franchise for quite some time. Crouse, who’s only 25 years old, was drafted originally by the Florida Panthers in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He later was shipped to the Coyotes along with veteran forward Dave Bolland. Last offseason, Crouse signed a $4.3 million contract extension to stay with the Coyotes for another five years. So far, Crouse has had a critical role with the team each year and has provided a spark on the ice.
Crouse has unlocked new potential with his new leadership role and on-ice success; how can this help the Coyotes going forward?
Lawson Crouse Playing Big Role in Arizona Coyotes Rebuild
Crouse Has New Leadership Role With Young Team
The Coyotes haven’t found much success in recent years but have found a gem in Lawson Crouse. From last year to now, there has been a big difference in his game which is the leadership role he has taken on. Heading into the 2022-23 season, he was named an alternate captain, which is uncharted territory for the young forward. Since being named an alternate, Crouse has been assigned with leading this young offence which he has excelled in doing.
With the Coyotes in yet another rebuild, having a player like Lawson Crouse can help a struggling offence. Having been on lines with several rookies, including Matias Maccelli and Dylan Guenther, he has helped them succeed on many levels.
“I’m not afraid to speak up if I need to, but I try and lead with my daily habits, and just the way that I play, and the way that I approach things,” Crouse said. “If I can help some of the young guys grow as people and as players, that’s huge, and that’s the ultimate goal.” This leadership role should continue to grow more and more as Crouse develops even more as a player.
Playmaking and Goal Scoring Ability Unlocked
Crouse had a breakout season last year, where we saw him score 20 goals and add 14 assists. Generally, this isn’t considered a breakout year, but for Crouse, this was a huge step.
He hit the 20-goal plaque for the first time in his young career. He proved last year wasn’t a fluke and has 16 goals and 11 assists in just 43 games. Currently, Crouse is on pace for 50 points which would double his career high of 25. He also is the Coyotes’ goal-scoring leader.
With Crouse having success shooting the puck, he also has done well in several other areas. One included staying out of the box, a big issue earlier in his career. He has also cut his plus/minus rating down to only -2. Crouse has been making better plays and smarter decisions which have led him to do well.
Given Crouse’s increased role with the Coyotes, he’s averaging 18:02 minutes of ice time. This has not only helped Crouse develop more as a player, but he has shown the Coyotes his worth. That is why they signed him to a five-year contract extension last summer.
There Is Still Room for Growth
Of course, like any player, there is still plenty of room for Crouse to grow. “He’s a huge leader on our team. There’s no doubt about it,” head coach André Tourigny said. “Everybody respects Crouser. For him, consistency is probably the best word in the sense of his preparation, the way he shows up every day, the way he prepares himself, and the way he works every day.”
This quote from Tourigny proves and shows what kind of teammate he is and his influence in the locker room.
A POWER PLAY SNIPE. 💯 pic.twitter.com/vZx1e5SuD7
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) November 2, 2022
It would be a no-brainer not to have Crouse in the conversation for the next Coyotes captain as a new wave of young players comes in. Signed in the desert for the next five years, it is very plausible. With more rookies coming up, having a player like Crouse should help this rebuild. Still with half the season to play, Crouse could hit the 30-goal mark for the first time in his career. This would be monumental for him as such an achievement would show the future.
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