The 2021/22 season is fast approaching, so here at Five For Howling, we’re taking a look at this year’s Arizona Coyotes 25 best players under the age of 25.
For the first time in our review, we have a player who played exclusively with the Arizona Coyotes last season. Christian Fischer has been with the Coyotes organization since being drafted and has been a full-time NHL player for the past four seasons.
20/21 League: NHL
Games played: 52
Highest rating: 11
Lowest rating: 16
Last year’s rankings: 13
Fischer’s role has changed a lot since being drafted 32nd overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He finished his rookie season with 15 goals and 18 assists, but his offensive numbers haven’t been anywhere close to that since.
A big reason why Fischer is scoring fewer goals is that he isn’t taking as many shots. In his rookie season, he had 154 shots and made 9.74% of them. However, his shots have been trending down since then, and this past season he had only 47 shots, of which he made 6.4%.
But just because he isn’t scoring as many goals doesn’t mean that Fischer doesn’t have anything to add. His role last season was a bottom-six winger and penalty killer, and he finished fifth in shorthanded time on ice behind Alex Goligoski, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Christan Dvorak, and Lawson Crouse. Given that everyone except Lawson Crouse is no longer with the team, he should have plenty of opportunities next season.
Last season was the first that Fischer played regularly on the penalty kill. Even Phil Kessel had more shorthanded time on ice (2:55) than Fischer (0:08) during the 2019-20 season. But the Coyotes penalty kill was solid enough, finishing 11th in NHL, ahead of teams like the Winnipeg Jets and Minnesota Wild.
Fischer’s role may change again under André Tourigny, but it is clear that Fischer can adapt his game to stay in the NHL. Fischer’s first season as a penalty killer went well enough, and it will be interesting to see if he has any other untapped aspects of his game.