In this week’s edition of the Arizona Coyotes‘ 2022 offseason player reviews, I take a look at forward Christian Fischer. After originally being selected in the second round of the 2015 NHL Draft as part of the team’s transition to a younger core, he has spent his last six seasons in the Valley, establishing himself as a dominant, physical fourth-line player for the Coyotes.
After totaling 33 points in his rookie season, Fischer has steadily declined in production, instead cementing his place as the team’s fourth-line enforcer and penalty kill specialist. This past season was a forgetful one for the Coyotes forward, who registered a mere 10 points in 53 games. Scheduled to be a restricted free agent this summer, general manager Bill Armstrong sees the 25-year-old forward as part of the team’s core and expects him to re-sign (from ’Coyotes, assistant coach Phil Housley part ways’, AZ Central, 5/1/22).
Fischer’s Season in Review
Simply put, this past season for Fischer was poor. He struggled with injuries, was on the team’s COVID-19 protocol list early in the season, and was a healthy scratch on occasions. He struggled on the ice as well, registering a minus-15 while registering 76 shots on goal for a 6.6 percent shooting percentage, leading many to believe he would be moved at the trade deadline.
While Fischer’s place in the NHL is, at best, a fourth-line enforcer and penalty kill specialist, he still proved he was a reliable forward, even when he’s not scoring. He’s a seasoned veteran who, when healthy, can help the team in other ways. While he’ll certainly draw in other offers to go elsewhere if not offered an extension, he knows what the team is building in Arizona and wants to be a part of that future. He always brings a level of competitiveness and can swing momentum in a moment’s flash with a big hit or a fight.
What Fischer Can Improve On, Build Off Of
Before Armstrong figures out who to re-sign, Fischer has some parts of his own game to work on if he decides to stay or goes elsewhere this summer. For starters, he hasn’t exactly performed to the level of a second-round player. After 33 points in his rookie season, his point production steadily decreased over the next four seasons, registering 18, nine, 11, and 10 points. His role on the team diminished, and subsequently, his overall play dwindled. His play with and without the puck over the last couple of seasons has looked poor, from turning the puck over consistently to having a career plus/minus of minus-53.
While there are things he can improve on, there are also parts to Fischer’s game that he can build off of that will help him remain in either Arizona or find a new home. For one, he possesses a quick wrist shot and slapshot that is very accurate. He’s always aware of his positioning and is a very reliable penalty killer who brings a level of physicality and grit to whatever team he plays for.
Fischer’s Next Moves
Early reports indicate Armstrong is more than content with bringing back Fischer back, as he views him as part of the team’s core. He has built relationships during his time in Arizona, and at 25 years of age, he is still young, brings a lot of skill, and is a capable bottom-six forward. While his name may not regularly show up on the scoresheet, he’s an attractive bottom-role player that general managers around the league will keep tabs on if he becomes a free agent this offseason.
While Fischer may not crack the 30-point plateau, he’s still shown glimpses and flashes of his skill level and accurate hand-eye coordination that will earn him a contract somewhere. He won’t cost the Coyotes or another team a hefty price, either, making him an attractive piece to add to the roster.
The Coyotes are optimistic about the future of the organization. If they are looking for a solid fourth-line player who can bring physicality, grit, and skill, then look no further than Fischer.
What do you think? Should the Coyotes bring Fischer back? Lets us know in the comments section below. Next week is Travis Boyd.
Mr. Evans is originally from Greenville, SC where he currently resides. Mr. Evans has been involved in hockey for the past 17 years now, following the Arizona Coyotes and St. Louis Blues. During his free time, Mr. Evans enjoys spending time with his family and girlfriend as well as being up in the mountains or taking pictures. Prior to joining The Hockey Writers, Mr. Evans previously worked for The Puck Authority, covering the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL and FanSided’s Bleedin’ Blue, covering the St. Louis Blues. You can find Mr. Evans on Twitter at @HaynesPEvans.