Arizona Coyotes’ Rookie Lawson Crouse Wins Player of Game Belt

Lawson Crouse is the latest winner of the Arizona Coyotes Player of the Game Belt.

“The Sheriff” scored his first NHL goal with the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night.

Lawson Crouse made his mark against the Sharks, finally finding the scoresheet after being held off the ledger for his first five NHL games.

Somewhere Dave Bolland is probably shaking his head ruefully.

Crouse becomes the second rookie to score for the Yotes this season, joining Jakob Chychrun.

Prior to opening night, most fans would’ve put their money on Dylan Strome and Christian Dvorak to find the back of the net first. That’s not how it panned out.

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen another player so excited to get the belt. Crouse was positively beaming with pride.

It certainly fits Crouse’s persona.

The rookie’s goal came off of a deflection of a shot from the point by Kevin Connauton.

His fist pumping and smile were infectious. That’s pure joy.

Crouse joined the Arizona Coyotes from the Florida Panthers over the summer when General Manager John Chayka took on the contract of Dave Bolland in order to acquire him.

Formerly the 11th overall pick in 2014, Crouse topped out at a mere 62 points in Kingston of the OHL which suggests the Panthers may have reached for the big winger.

Elite Prospects’ scouting report on Crouse from 2014 sort of alludes to this fact.

“A big-bodied power winger with the ability to physically dominate, making him a prominent forechecking presence every night. Possesses good hands that can be used to make crisp passes or to let loose accurate, NHL-level shots; paired with his strength and skating ability, his skill set allows him to contribute offensively, as well as create space for teammates.”

We haven’t seen Lawson Crouse throw his weight around a lot so far in his short tenure with the Arizona Coyotes.

Last night, he did begin to get a little more physical and that may have been in part because of the extra ice time he received due to injuries to Tobias Rieder and Martin Hanzal.

Whatever the case, I’d like to see more of it.

At 6’4 and 220 pounds, Crouse cuts an imposing figure on the ice.

The sooner he harnesses the ability to use that size to his advantage against other grown men, the better he’ll look in the brick red and black.

In the meantime, he’s just trying to stick with the Coyotes for the season.

For one night, he made a good case for himself.

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