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Clayton Keller joins Coyotes franchise history with new goal mark

The Coyotes forward wasted no time reaching a goal-setting milestone Tuesday night
Credit: AP
Arizona Coyotes right wing Clayton Keller (9) in the first period during an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Friday, March 3, 2023, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

TEMPE, Ariz. — Add another milestone to the record books for rising Coyotes star Clayton Keller!

Keller broke the franchise's decade-long drought as he reached goal No. 30 on the season. In fact, he matched the record and then tallied one additional goal for good measure Tuesday night against the Calgary Flames for goals number 30 and 31.

"It's definitely cool to be in that same category," Keller said. "It's something I'm working towards every single day."

Keller became the first player in franchise history to reach 30 goals since Radim Vrbata in the 2011-2012 season while also becoming the first to reach 70 points in a single season since Ray Whitney did it also back in 2011.

It's been an arduous road to get to this point for the NHL All-Star though, having to recover from a fractured leg he suffered back in March 2022.

"It taught me a lot about patience," Keller said. "I'm not really a patient guy but I had to be, to get back to this point. I worked tremendously hard this summer to rehab and get back and stay patient with it."

That work has certainly paid off as Keller also earned the NHL's first Star of the Week in March, tallying four goals and five assists in just four games played.

Not to mention, his goal and point totals already are career highs, while his 40 assists on the year are just two shy of his personal best set during his rookie campaign back in 2017.

"As each game goes on, I just continue to get my power back and feel like myself again," Keller said.

In hindsight, it seems Keller is better than his former self and his play on the ice continues to prove exactly that.


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