When the Phoenix Coyotes signed Ed Jovanovski back in July of 2006, they were getting an injury-plagued player that had not played a full season for three years.
In the 2005-06 season, his last with the Vancouver Canucks, Jovanovski was limited to a career low 44 games. He was on pace for a career year. The Coyotes knew if Jovanovski could stay healthy he could be a rock for them on defense.
Unfortunately for the 2006-07 season, his first with the Coyotes, Jovanovski again missed significant time, appearing in just 54 games. It wasn’t until his second season with the Coyotes in 2007-08 that Jovanovski showed what he could do, recording a career high 51 points in 80 games.
Although Jovanovski would manage to stay healthy for the entire 2008-09 season, he had a huge drop in points from 51 to 36 and had an abysmal minus-15 plus/minus rating.
Fast forward to the current season in which Jovanovski has come out of the gate firing, with nine points through the first 10 games. More important than individual stats, he has been a huge reason why the Coyotes are winning. And he has been one of the main keys as to why Phoenix’s powerplay has greatly improved from a year ago.
With the 2010 Winter Olympics just around the corner, you can bet Steve Yzerman and company are going to take a good hard look at former Gold Medal winner Jovanovski, especially if he continues with his great play.
At age 33, Ed Jovanovski is still in the prime of his career. Whether or not he ends up helping the Coyotes make the playoffs for the first time in seven years, or helps Team Canada win another Olympic Gold Medal, he still has a chance to make the 2009-10 season his best one yet.