Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet is ready to give Alex Galchenyuk a chance to play his preferred position in his first season with the team.
"I've communicated with Alex and he said he'd like to play centre," Tocchet told the team's website. "I have no problem with a player who'd like to try something if he backs it up. So, I want to give him a chance at centre if he wants to play it, and our coaching staff will try to give him the best possible help to play that center position. We'll see how that goes."
Galchenyuk spent some time at centre during his tenure with the Montreal Canadiens, but mostly on the wing. He was acquired by the Coyotes in June for forward Max Domi.
The 24-year-old said he's committed to being ready to handle the role in this season.
"That's where my head is and what my goal is," Galchenyuk said of playing centre. "I'm training really hard and preparing myself for it. I can't wait to get it started."
Galchenyuk, a 30-goal scorer in 2015-16, posted 19 goals and 51 points in 82 games with the Canadiens last season. He believes his addition could serve to boost the Coyotes power play, which ranked 26th in the league last season.
"I definitely take a lot of pride being on the power play," Galchenyuk said. "When coaches put you out there, they expect big things out of you, and with so many games being tight-scoring games these days, a man advantage is huge. When you look at the roster for the Coyotes, there's a lot of great playmakers … I'm happy to come in here and fit in here."
Arizona Central projected last month that Galchenyuk would serve as the Coyotes second-line centre this season, behind Derek Stepan on the depth chart and ahead of Christian Dvorak and Brad Richardson.