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Can Coyotes Rookie Logan Cooley Excel in New Role?

© Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Since making the transition from college to the NHL, Arizona Coyotes center Logan Cooley has been a revelation to say the least.

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Being the #3 overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, Cooley made the jump to from the University of Minnesota to the valley after 60 points in 39 games last season.

Cooley scored “that goal” against the Los Angeles Kings in preseason during the NHL Global Series to introduce himself to the eyes of all hockey fans.

This Season

To kickstart the 2023-24 campaign, Cooley began his first four games with four assists.

Showcasing himself as a true contender for the Calder Trophy, NHL Rookie of the Year, Cooley’s playmaking prowess has been evident throughout his small sample size as a professional.

However, since having 11 points in 14 contests, Cooley has only had a goal in the last five games.

On Nov. 17, it was announced that Coyotes center Barrett Hayton is out week-to-week with an upper-body injury.

Due to his absence, Arizona head coach Andre Tourigny has not had his top center at his disposal.

‘Yotes wingers Clayton Keller and Nick Schmaltz needed a third forward on their line to continue firing on all cylinders without Hayton.

Keller currently leads the team in points with 18 in 19 games (7 goals, 11 assists).

Additionally, Schmaltz is right behind Keller with 5 goals and 10 assists for 15 points in 19 contests.

First, veteran Travis Boyd was slotted in between Keller and Schmaltz until Nov. 22.

To regain his confidence and offensive output, Tourigny decided to put Cooley on the first line against the St. Louis Blues.

In his new role, Cooley had 15:49 time-on-ice and a plus/minus rating of -1.

The trio have spent some time together already on the Coyotes’ No. 1 power-play unit.

Between Cooley, Schmaltz and Keller, they have seven goals on the man-advantage so far.

As he gets more experience with Keller and Schmaltz, Cooley is in a higher position to succeed and end his recent struggles.

After Wild, 6-goal Second Period, Coyotes Lose 6-5 to Blues

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Alec Cipollini is a reporter of the Arizona Coyotes and Cardinals for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account @AlecCipollini

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