PITTSBURGH _ Anthony Duclair has scored himself a spot within the NHL all-star weekend.
Picked up within the deal that despatched Ryan Dzingel to the Columbus Blue Jackets eventually spring’s NHL commerce deadline, the Ottawa Senators high-scoring winger was named the membership’s consultant for the all-star weekend set for Jan. 24-25 in St. Louis.
This can be a enormous honour for Duclair who’s been one of many NHL’s greatest tales this season.
Duclair, 24, who has been a greater than nice shock with profession excessive 21 objectives and 31 factors heading into Monday’s sport in opposition to the Pittsburgh Penguins on the PPG Paints Area, was chosen to be on the Atlantic Division staff.
It’s an enormous feather within the cap for Duclair who has been one of many membership’s greatest gamers after being given an expanded function by coach D.J. Smith. Not solely was Duclair the membership’s prime scorer earlier than dealing with the Penguins, he’s additionally performed a key function on the membership’s penalty killing models which might be ranked 10th within the league.
“It’s excellent for him and his household. It’s a particular honour to be in a sport like that with these type of gamers and to be acknowledged within the league as an elite participant it’s acquired to be particular,” stated Smith earlier than dealing with the Penguins.
Smith can’t say sufficient concerning the function Duclair has performed.
“Definitely, he’s scored objectives for us however he’s been a extremely good teammate and guys like him as a result of he involves the rink with power on daily basis,” stated Smith. “He’s blocked photographs, he’s finished all of the issues we’ve requested of him and it’s good for him to be rewarded.”
Although folks imagine Duclair was merely as a part of the take care of the Jackets that’s not the case. The Senators professional scouting employees had been watching him for awhile and talked to basic supervisor Pierre Dorion about getting him as a part of the deal as a result of the group felt Duclair might be the type of participant that helped constantly.
His time in Columbus had come to an finish as a result of coach John Tortorella was pissed off together with his lack of manufacturing. He took a shot at Duclair publicly on Feb. 19 and some days later he was a part of the take care of the Senators.
“He’s on the level the place he understands once we talk with him as a training employees he is aware of we’re attempting to push him,” stated Smith. “If he doesn’t have a terrific sport, he is aware of generally I’m going to offer him a number of extra shifts than possibly I ought to, figuring out he’s going to play himself out of it.
“He’s beginning to turn out to be a core man in our room.”
Properly, Duclair has gotten on the rails huge time and down the street it’s going to repay. A restricted free agent with rights to arbitration, the Senators are content material to let him play out this season after which the group will possible sit down to debate a brand new deal.
The Senators don’t have any complaints about Duclair in any way as a result of he’s gotten the job finished and so they can’t ask for something extra from him. Maybe, the deal from Columbus served as a wakeup name and if that’s the case then the motivation has been a constructive for Ottawa.
Dorion stated that is good feather in Duclair’s cap.
“We’re blissful for him,” stated Dorion. “The credit score goes to Anthony on what he’s achieved via the primary 39 video games _ his capacity to shoot the puck, use his pace. D.J. and him have shaped a terrific chemistry and D.J. depends upon him.
“Who would have thought Anthony was somebody we’d use to kill penalties. We’re actually blissful for him at this stage in his profession that he can symbolize us on the all-star sport.”
Dorion added Smith has given Duclair confidence.
“The function they’ve recognized for him and what they’ve finished for him, I feel they’ve finished an unbelievable job,” added Dorion.
Final yr, Thomas Chabot was the membership’s consultant, however the Senators solely obtained one choice and Duclair is well-deserved to get this honour.
A SOLID LEADER
No, Ron Hainsey wasn’t within the lineup for the Senators Monday night time due to a knee damage, however he’s extremely considered in Pittsburgh.
The Penguins introduced him in for his or her run to the Stanley Cup in 2017 and imagine he’s a terrific function mannequin for Ottawa’s younger gamers. He’s been tasked with the job of mentoring the likes of Erik Brannstrom with the Senators.
“He’s performed a whole lot of video games on this league, he has a wealth of expertise to attract on, he’s a terrific professional and I can’t say sufficient concerning the contribution he made when he was right here,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan stated. “He was an enormous a part of the Stanley Cup that we gained within the yr that he was right here.
“He’s a only a good voice of motive. He’s been across the sport a very long time and his demeanor within the locker room is de facto good with younger gamers. He’s not a unstable persona. He’s pretty-even keeled. He doesn’t get too excessive when the staff is taking part in or low when the staff goes via struggles. His demeanor will assist a younger staff like Ottawa, he’s a terrific particular person and he was an enormous a part of us successful the Stanley Cup.”
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