Ducks 2003 draft review

By Kevin Forbes

Summary of the nine selections in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

Ryan Getzlaf – C – Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
Getzlaf was a bit of a surprise when still available with the 19th overall pick. He was
expected to be selected in the top 15. But the Ducks were happy to take this
6’3″, 195 pd forward at that slot. Getzlaf is a strong,
physical center, who plays smart at both ends of the ice. He’ll need to add
some strength and also need to work on his skating but he could develop into
a first liner. In 70 games with Calgary, Getzlaf had 29 goals and 39 assists
for 68 points and also had 121 PIM.

Getzlaf said “(it was) nerve-wracking up in the
stands, but I’m happy to go to Anaheim.” He describes himself as a hard hitting forward. “I just play hard, I’m a
big kid, like to get in there. I’m a good two-way
player.” When asked about improving his game he said “I don’t know, probably the same as everyone else,
just size and strength, and keeping my conditioning
where it needs to be to play in the NHL.” He said of the Anaheim organization, “They’re a hard-working team
and no one expected them to do that (go far in the playoffs). They did
things that aren’t expected.” Getzlaf is excited to go to Anaheim, saying
“Yeah, it’s going to be fun. There’s a lot of attention on Anaheim right
now. They’re a good team and they’re building. So it should be a good
time.” He watched most of the Ducks playoff run but did not talk to the
Anaheim organization prior to the draft, so he was surprised to be drafted by
them. He has never been in the Anaheim area and looks forward to that and said about Disneyland,
“I can go anytime I want now, it’s
awesome.”

Corey Perry – RW – London Knights (OHL)
The Ducks traded both of their second round selections (36th and 54th overall)
to the Dallas Stars for their 1st rounder (28th overall). The Ducks then
used that first rounder to select Perry. The 6’2″, 185 lb right winger had a
hot and cold season, and that affected his ranking. He’s a good playmaker
with good size and good hands, but his discipline and physical play have
been questioned. He has the potential to be a top line player with the right
guidance. Over the course of 67 games, Perry tallied 25 goals and 53 assists
for 78 points and also racked up 145 PIM.

Shane Hynes – RW – Cornell (ECAC)
Selected in the third round (86th overall), Hynes is a big 6’3″, 210 lb winger. He had 11 goals and 9 assists for 20 points in 32 games along with
36 PIM for Cornell. Uses his size and strength well, Hynes has the potential
to be a power forward, but is definitely a work in progress.

Juha Alen – D – Northern Michigan (CCHA)
Selected in the third round (90th overall), Alen is a 6’3″, 210 pound
defenseman. The Finn had 4 goals and 19 assists for 23 points in 40 games
this past season and also had 64 PIM. He’s 21 and could possibly play with
Cincinnati this upcoming season if a deal can be reached. Has good offensive
potential.

Nathan Saunders – D – Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)
Selected in the fourth round (119th overall) with a pick acquired from Chicago
via Nashville, Saunders is a 6’3″, 210 pound defenseman. He had 14 points and
241 PIM in 69 games. Plays an ultra-physical game and is strong
defensively.

Andrew Miller – LW – River City (USHL)
Selected in the sixth round (186th overall), Miller is a 6’2″, 165 pound
winger. Miller is younger brother to Buffalo Sabres goaltender, Ryan Miller and cousin to Kelly, Kip and Kevin Miller. He plays well in all aspects of the game from power-play to penalty
kill to five on five. He scored 25 points (14 goals and 11 assists) in 49 games
last season with River City and had 26 PIM. He has committed to playing at Michigan State University in the fall.

Dirk Southern – C – Northern Michigan (CCHA)
Selected in the seventh round (218th overall), Southern is a 6’0, 177 pound
center. Another college selection, he is teammate to third round selection,
Juha Alen. He had 11 goals and 22 assists for 33 points and 55 PIM in 41
games.

Shane O’Brien – D – Toronto St. Michaels Majors (OHL)
Selected in the eighth round (250th overall), O’Brien is a 6’2″, 224 lb defensemen. He’ll join former St. Mike’s players Tim Brent and
Mark Popovic on Anaheim’s prospect list. With 42 points (16 points
and 26 assists) and 208 PIM in 61 games, O’Brien looks to be a hard-nosed
blueliner who can move the puck well.

Ville Mantymaa – D – Tappara (Finland)
Selected in the ninth round (280th overall), Mantymaa is a 6’3″, 183 lb defensemen. He is the only player selected by the Ducks that played overseas
last season. He played eight games with Tappara Tampere and was pointless, but
he had 15 points (3 goals and 12 assists) and 26 PIM in 33 games with the
Tappara Tampere Jr. team.

Overall the Ducks had a solid draft, but the trade of their two second rounders to Dallas for a
first rounder in such a deep draft was questionable. A potential top line center prospect was found, and any issues with
size were definitely addressed with no player drafted being under 6’0″. Of the four defenseman drafted,
three look to be capable puck handlers.

Surprisingly, the Ducks did not draft a goalie, with only
Ilya Bryzgalov left now as a prospect.
Also a bit of a surprise was the fact that they drafted only one player from
overseas, and only three players were not Canadian. This definitely isn’t the
Pierre Gauthier era of drafting small skilled Europeans. Instead, Bryan Murray focused on big, strong Canadian boys. Also of
note, was the fact that three selections were from the college leagues and
another was from the USHL. The Ducks have not drafted often from the college
ranks in previous years.

The Ducks draft addressed their needs and did not need to
make any shocking moves. Because of their long playoff run and establishment
as a solid performer in the West, the Ducks could sit back and make
comfortable and safe picks for the future, instead of trying to make bold moves
for the immediate future.