The Anaheim Ducks saw many of its most prominent prospects moving up a level over the offseason. The AHL’s San Diego Gulls are going to be loaded, with potential stars like Brandon Montour, Shea Theodore and Nick Ritchie joining the club for its inaugural season in San Diego. We are also looking at several make or break years at the collegiate level from players like Keaton Thompson, Kevin Roy, and Grant Besse. This makes for some rather interesting storylines heading into the year. While we will not get to all of them in our preview, here are a few of the prospects to look at heading into a huge 2015-16 for the Ducks pipeline and the organization at large.
If contenders are built from the goal out, then the league must be a little bit jealous when it comes to the defensive pipeline and the major goaltending prospect the Anaheim Ducks currently hold. It seems like every single year, when everyone would figure the Ducks to go for a forward in the early rounds, they go back to the well and select another highly skilled defenseman.
The Anaheim Ducks have managed to compile some pretty strong draft picks in recent years. Much to their enjoyment, many of them are panning out in a very good way. Dominant seasons were logged this year by many of the Ducks former first-round selections and several are getting close to the pro level. Take a look at who won what in this year’s Ducks prospect awards.
As a new face emerges as the number one overall prospect with the Ducks, it is hard not to notice the strong group of defensemen and wingers Anaheim currently boasts. A staggering 17 of the 20 listed players on the spring list play either wing or defense. If the goal is to build from the back out, the Ducks have a blossoming mixture of talented defensemen and one of the best young goaltenders in the world to achieve that goal. Up front they also have a nice blend of size, skill, and speed to complement their NHL center depth. While the logjam may end up hurting some of these players’ chances, it currently is a big boost to the organization in terms of depth and quality.
This is the first Under-20 World Junior Championship for Sweden‘s Victor Rask, one that has so far worked out well for the Swedes. For Max Friberg, it could turn out to be one of the more memorable events of his entire hockey career, as well as a chance to avenge a disappointing loss to Russia at last year’s tournament in Buffalo. Friberg scored the game-tying goal and shootout winner for Sweden in their 3-2, semi-final win over Finland. The Swedes will face Russia for the gold medal on Thursday night.
Rask and Friberg talked about the win over Finland, and about the chance to play for gold at the 2012 WJC. Read more»