Drafting and development have been problems for the Arizona Coyotes for a long time. Case in point, the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. In the first round, they drafted Brendan Perlini when Dylan Larkin and David Pastrnak. But they had a good hit in the second round when they used the Chicago Blackhawks pick from the David Rundblad trade to draft Christian Dvorak.
19/20 League: NHL (Arizona Coyotes)
Games played: 70
Highest rating: 3
Lowest rating: 6
Since being drafted, Dvorak has turned from a good prospect to a good, stable NHL player. In his rookie season, he was tied for third on the team in goals scored and was fifth on the team in points.
There were definite gaps in his game after the first season, but nothing that another year wouldn't help to close. But like so many others on the team, the 2018-19 season would be a rough one for Christian Dvorak.
Unfortunately, Dvorak's sophomore season was delayed with a torn pectoral muscle that required surgery. He would ultimately be limited to just twenty games in the NHL and two games with the Tucson Roadrunners on a conditioning stint.
Dvorak would come back this last season looking as good as new. He played in all 70 games of the Covid-19 shortened season and scored a career-high 18 goals and 38 points. He was second on the team in goals scored and had the pandemic not shortened the season he likely would have been the second Coyote to reach the twenty goal plateau.
Christian Dvorak, like almost every Coyote on the team drafted by Arizona, got his first chance to play in the post-season this past year. In his first game, he looked good, getting a goal and an assist against the Nashville Predators. He would get another goal two games later, but that would be it for post-season points. Like most of the team, Dvorak would not have an answer for Colorado Avalanche who would eliminate the Coyotes in five games.
In Dvorak, the Coyotes have a good two-way center who is defensively sound and can provide some solid offense. He has continued to improve year after year and next time there is a full season there is a good chance that he will reach hit twenty goals.
Center has been a huge weakness for the Coyotes for most of their history. Dvorak may not be the game-changing center that the team desperately needs, but he is a very skilled player who will serve the Coyotes well.
Dvorak was one of the four Coyotes that former-GM John Chayka signed long term. He is in the second year of a six-year, $26.7 million that carries an AAV of $4.45 million. That deal looks good so far, if Dvorak continues to improve it is only going to look better.