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Sean Durzi: Key figure to Coyotes’ second half success

© Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
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In the offseason, the Arizona Coyotes traded a second-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft to the Los Angeles Kings for defenseman Sean Durzi.

At the time of the deal, the hockey universe had mixed reviews as to whether this was substantial or just another ordinary move.

Since lacing up the skates as a ‘Yote for the first time, however, Durzi has made an instant impression and the transaction is now being classified as a highway robbery.

The Man from the Backend

In 35 games, Durzi has piled up six goals and 17 assists in 35 games.

The offensive side of his game has not been the issue that plagued his stock, it has been the main strength that he takes pride in.

But with him playing from the backend, the outside noise before Durzi arrived in the valley was that he’s a defensive liability and he lacked physicality.

While he only has 14 hits this season and he makes an occasional error from time to time (no one is perfect), Durzi is slowly becoming a well-rounded defenseman in his own zone as he continues to work on his craft.

For the better of his team this season, Durzi has cut passing lanes, learns when and when not to pinch forward and is willing to sacrifice his body to block shots (75).

The Coyotes have needed someone to fill in the shoes of Jakob Chychrun and Shayne Gostisbehere who can play massive minutes, but also standout on both ends of the ice. Chychrun and Gostisbehere were dealt before last season’s trade deadline.

That someone has turned into Durzi.

He eats up an average of 22:19 on the ice a night on the first line defensive pair with J.J. Moser.

Manning the “power play quarterback” on the top unit, he has collected 10 points on the man advantage.

With Arizona sitting 21-18-2 and 44 points in 41 games, the Western Conference standings are tight after being wide-open only a few weeks ago.

Teams like the Calgary Flames, Seattle Kraken and Edmonton Oilers have gotten hot at the right time of the season, all having winning streaks of three games or more recently.

The Coyotes are on the outside looking in, so they will have to bank on players like Durzi if they want to make the playoffs.

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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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