Mighty Ducks 2004 draft preview

By Kevin Forbes

Mighty Ducks Top 10 Prospects

1. Ryan Getzlaf, C
2. Ilya Bryzgalov, G
3. Mark Popovic, D
4. Corey Perry, RW
5. Chris Kunitz, LW
6. Tony Martensson, C
7. Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau, RW
8. Curtis Glencross, LW
9. Shane Hynes, RW
10. Brandon Rogers, D

Team Needs:

The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim are in desperate need of defensive prospects for their system. Mark Popovic continues to be the only candidate who has sure-fire NHL potential. The Ducks need someone with No. 1 potential, capable of being strong at both ends of the ice, playing plenty of minutes and quarterbacking the power play.
Anaheim’s blueline is still relatively young, but there is plenty of room
for improvement.

Just like virtually every other team in the NHL, Anaheim would also like
some top line forwards with size and skill. With Ryan Getzlaf looking more and
more likely to break into the NHL as a right winger, a center who is willing
to play physically and drive to the net is something that the organization
is lacking. More power forward types on the wings would also be desired.

Anaheim also needs to pick up a goaltender. If Martin Gerber is traded (as
expected), there will only be three goaltenders in the entire organization. Some
sort of future between the pipes needs to be established, although a
netminder with starting potential isn’t required at this time. Expect
Anaheim to pick a goalie in the middle rounds.

Organizational Strengths

Anaheim has solid overall depth, there is a prospect with NHL potential at
virtually every position. This depth is especially apparent up front.
Anaheim’s forward corps features plenty of two-way players (such as Chris
Kunitz) as well as character forwards (like Joel Stepp) to go along
with more skilled players (such as Corey Perry). There could be as many as a
dozen players who have a serious chance at a spot on the third and fourth
lines for next season, ranging from NHL veterans to prospects straight out
of junior.

There are also numerous defensive defensemen in the system, such as
Nathan Saunders, Shane O’Brien and Vladimir Korsunov. Although none of these players project to be top-pairing blueliners, they may be able to provide a physical edge to the lineup.

Organizational Weaknesses

Despite the depth of Anaheim’s organization, a lot of it seems to be hit or miss. Most of the players don’t appear ready to handle NHL duty anytime
soon.
There is a lack of offensive defensemen in the system, although Brandon
Rogers has some potential. A heir for 34-year-old Keith Carney’s place on the
blueline needs to be found as well.

Also the system would benefit with more skilled wingers who have good size
and use it well (such as Shane Hynes). When players like Rob Niedermayer and
Mike Leclerc are missing from the lineup, there is no one in the minors who can step in and replace their physical presence on a scoring line.

Finally, after the two NHL goaltenders (J.S. Giguere and Martin Gerber) and the two AHL goaltenders (Ilya Bryzgalov and Eddie Ferhi), there are
no other netminders in the entire system. Despite the quality of these
players, there is a need to improve the depth of the organization at this
crucial position.

Draft Tendencies

Two words best describe the tendencies of a Bryan Murray draft for Anaheim: big and North American. In the two drafts that have occurred under Murray’s guidance, only one player each year has been under 6’0″ and only one player each year was from Europe. There is a preference for players with grit and strong two-way play. Both first round selections under Murray (Joffrey Lupul in 2002 and Getzlaf in 2003) have been from the WHL. Although Murray has now departed the organization, the team will still be using the list put together by him and his scouting staff.

Anaheim has only dealt their top pick once in franchise history, however that is a potential move that shouldn’t be ruled out just yet. After the top three picks, the draft is hard to judge, so depending on how it all plays out, Anaheim
could do just about anything with their first round selection.

Player most likely to be taken with first selection (Hockey’s Future staff mock draft result): Andrej Meszaros, D