Last season Alex Galchenyuk and Brad Richardson led the team with 19 goals. This season in the 62 games Conor Garland became the first player on the team to hit the 20-goal plateau.
Garland's 20th of the season. pic.twitter.com/z3yqmXvynt— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) February 17, 2020
A 20-goal scorer isn’t a major deal in the modern NHL. 47 players already have surpassed 20 goals, but for Arizona Coyotes fans it is still a reason to celebrate.
This is Garland’s first 20 goal season, and he is playing in his first full NHL season. Originally drafted in the fifth round of the 2015 Garland was called up from the Tuscon Roadrunners last season. He would go on to score 13 goals in 47 games, including one goal off his face.
Garland has quickly become a fan favorite, not just for his offense but for his play. He rarely has an off game, and he is one of the hardest-working players on the team. It’s fitting he got his 20th going hard to the net.
This season, Garland has been playing on the Coyotes’ top line with Taylor Hall and Christian Dvorak. The line has proven to be key for the Coyotes and has been one of the more consistent lines on the team.
The Arizona Coyotes haven’t been a high-offense team for a long time. Radim Vrbata is probably the last pure goalscorer the Coyotes and he hasn’t been with the team since the 2016-17 season. Garland is a far different player than Vrbata, but the team has come to depend on him for offense.
While Garland was the first, he hopefully won’t be the last. Christian Dvorak is the next closest player with 18 goals and 4 goals in the past eight games. After Dvorak, both Carl Soderberg and Lawson Crouse have 14 goals, and Clayton Keller and Phil Kessell have 13.