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Behind The Bench: Mikkel Boedker

by on 08/02/2011

Born: December 16, 1989
Ht: 5’11”
Wt: 201 lbs
Draft: 8th overall by the Phoenix Coyotes in 2008
Plays for: Phoenix Coyotes, Left Wing, Shoots Left
Jersey No.: #89

NHL Stats

Regular Season: 126 GP – 16 G – 29 A – 45 P
Playoffs: 4 GP – 0 G – 1 A – 1 P

Mikkel Boedker is the second of three Danish forwards STP will be featuring this week.

When the Phoenix Coyotes selected Mikkel Boedker 8th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, he became the highest drafted Danish player in NHL history.

The summer prior to being drafted by the Kitchener Rangers in the 2007 CHL Import Draft, He enjoyed a huge performance at the World Under-18 Championship. Boedker tallied 11 points in 5 games playing for Denmark. Boedker continued his U18 performance with the Kitchener Rangers. He spent only 1 season in the OHL with the Kitchener Rangers playing 62 games and recorded 73 points, good for 3rd on the team in scoring. He played major roles in the Rangers winning the OHL playoff championship and making it to the Memorial Cup final. He recorded 35 points in 20 games in the OHL playoffs and 6 points in 5 games during the Memorial Cup.

After being drafted 8th overall, Boedker made the jump to the NHL at the end of the summer and spent the 08/09 season with the Phoenix Coyotes. He played 78 games in his rookie season and averaged 15 minutes a night, more ice time than fellow rookies, Steven Stamoks (14:56), Bobby Ryan (15:26) and Claude Giroux (15:09). Boedker was used primarily on the second line and saw lots of penalty kill and power play time. He finished his rookie season with 11 goals and 17 assists for 28 points. Boedker finished 16th in rookie scoring.

During the off-season, the Coyotes made it a priority to improve their forward depth. The depth improvements dropped Boedker down to the fourth line where he struggled to start the season. Boedker went scoreless in his first 6 games of the season. He was demoted to the Coyotes AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage in mid November. Boedker played the rest of the 09/10 season with the Rampage but was recalled on 4 seperate two-game stints with the Coyotes. He finished the season playing in 14 NHL games and 64 AHL games. Boedker tallied 3 points with the Coyotes and recorded 38 points with the Rampage.

Boedker started the 10/11 season with the Rampage and played 35 games before he was recalled to the Coyotes. He posted 10 goals and 21 assists for 31 points. Boedker was recalled on January 13, 2011 and tallied an assists in his first NHL game of the season in a 5-1 win. He played 4 more games with the Coyotes until the All-Star break. Boedker rejoined the Rampage for a 4 game stint and tallied 2 points. He would rejoin the Coyotes after the All-Star break and spent the rest of the season with them. Boedker tallied 4 goals and 8 assists from February 9, 2011 to April 6, 2011.

Boedker played in his first NHL playoff series against the Detroit Red Wings. The Coyotes were swept in 4 games and Boedker only recorded 1 assist.

Boedker received a qualifying offer from the Phoenix Coyotes but has yet to re-sign with them. With off-seas0n signing of Raffi Torres, re-sign of Lauri Korpikoski and Brett Maclean, the Coyotes could be waiting until training camp to offer Boedker a contract or package his rights for a more proven NHL player. Given his age and his potential, it is highly unlikely the Coyotes trade away his rights. He will likely re-sign a two-year $3M contract extension before the start of the regular season.

Boedker plays low to the ice and as a result is very hard to knock off the puck and is very strong along the boards. Boedker has world class speed and skill, he is capable of beating defenders wide or down the middle. His speed and strength make him a very effective forechecker, his puck pursuit skills are excellent. Boedker is a great playmaker, his solid passing and setup ability make up for some of the risk he takes in the offensive zone. He has an outstanding shot with a lightning fast release, however he does not shoot the puck enough.

How Boedker uses his shot in the future will effective what type of a player he turns out to be. He could become a reliable first line winger who pots in 20 goals and 50-60 points or he could be NHL impact player, scoring 30-40 goals in a season.

The trademark for Danish players seems to be a well-rounded game and Boedker lives up to the billing. Boedker is effective in all three zones. He has the potential to be a scoring threat in the offensive zone, can cause turn overs in the neutral zone and is reliable defensive in his own zone. Boedker is a versatile player that can fill many roles on a team, he is a very good penalty killer, he has quarterbacked the power play as a point man, he can setup plays and finish them.

The biggest flaw in Boedker game is his tendency to pass at times when he should shoot and shooting when he should pass. His indecision will pass as he gains more NHL experience and should turn out to be a very complete player. Any NHL team should be happy to have him.

It’s only a matter of time until Boedker explodes on to the scene and begins to dominate games for the Coyotes.

Behind The Bench appears Monday to Friday only on puckpuckgoose.com.

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