Anytime a player misses the majority of a season, there will always be questions about if they will bounce back but for Christian Dvorak, he is doing just that.
Dvorak only managed to appear in 20 total games during the 2018/19 regular season, scoring just two goals and registering seven total points.
His ice time was limited to 14:23 on average to ensure a repeat of his injury didn’t occur, but his low shooting percentage (8%) was somewhat of a concern.
This season, however, Dvorak has been working towards being the reliable player he had been prior to his injury and has made great strides in a number of areas.
He has now matched the same number of appearances as last season with 20, but he has been far more productive in front of the net with six goals and nine total points in that stretch.
Two of his goals have already been game-winners, taking his career total up to six.
His shooting percentage has also jumped up significantly to 16.2%, just 0.8% shy of his career-best 17%, which he recorded across his rookie campaign - a season where he scored 15 goals in 78 appearances.
At his current pace, Dvorak could realistically reach the 25-goal mark this season if he can maintain his impressively high shooting percentage, as well as remain healthy.
But the area that Dvorak is truly excelling in is in the face-off circle, where he has consistently improved in each season he has played in the NHL to date.
During his rookie season, Dvorak won just 46.8% of the draws he participated in. In the first 20 games of the 2019/20 season, the Illinois native has won an astonishing 62.1%, 128 of the 206 total face-offs he has been involved in.
This puts Dvorak at having the fourth-highest success rate of players that have taken at least 100 draws in the face-off circle in the entire league, behind Jay Beagle, Sean Couturier, and Brian Boyle.
With the Arizona Coyotes needing to have more success in front of the net, seeing Dvorak step up and take some impressive strides forward will be a pleasing sight for all involved with the team and will be beneficial for Rick Tocchet’s side, who are looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2012.