Photo: The Ducks NHL lineup includes two picks from 2009, defenseman Sami Vatanen (pictured) and winger Kyle Palmieri. Anaheim’s 15th overall pick, Peter Holland, is also in the NHL with Toronto (courtesy of Warren Wimmer/Icon SMI)
Entering the 2009 NHL Draft, the Ducks were just two years removed from hoisting the Stanley Cup Finals, and with forwards such as Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Bobby Ryan quickly becoming the face of the franchise, management felt a need to restock the cupboard offensively in the first round.
Photo: Defenseman Jonas Brodin has been impressive for the Minnesota Wild. The 19-year-old Swede leads all rookies in average ice time. (courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
Many of the players in the middle section of the Hockey's Future 2013 Spring ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects have experienced excellent growth over the past season and have risen in the ranks as a result. Among the most notable is Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin, who has played well for the Wild in a shutdown role alongside Ryan Suter.
Photo: With 54 NHL games already under his belt, Devante Smith-Pelly is the leading left wing prospect in the Anaheim prospect pool. (courtesy of Ray Carlin/Icon SMI)
The Anaheim Ducks prospect system has a solid core and the future appears to be very bright. The club features great depth with young rising stars at each position. The Ducks have a few skaters whom many believe have the ability to make an immediate impact at the NHL level.
Photo: After playing the past three seasons in Finland, defenseman Sami Vatanen made his way to North America and currently plays for the AHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks. (Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Below is the middle section Hockey’s Future’s NHL Team Rankings. The teams are ranked in terms of the quality of their overall prospect pool as voted on by the staff of Hockey's Future. For reference, just the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The rankings are done twice a year, with the second scheduled to be published in the Spring.
Photo: Goal-scoring winger Kyle Palmieri may not be far away from establishing himself with the Ducks after short NHL stints in his first two pro seasons. (courtesy of Patrick Green/ Icon SMI)
Even though in 2012 the Anaheim Ducks suffered their worst regular season finish in eight years, there is a ton to be excited about moving forward for Ducks hockey. Over the years the organization has compiled a solid group of hard working, blue-collar prospects, several which are on the cusp of NHL careers. The list may be void of a true stand out "superstar" but the Ducks have compiled a plethora of solid puck-moving defenseman and gritty and talented forwards. Names like Emerson Etem, Sami Vatanen, and Nicolas Kerdiles are just a few on a long list that is filled with potential.