In part one of this 2015-16 Swedish Hockey League (SHL) preview, Hockey’s Future looked at the teams ranked 11 thru 14. In part two of this preview, we will now take a look at the teams in the middle of the rankings, in slots 6 thru 10. Part three will look at the top five teams in the SHL. Read more»
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 learning curve can come in various cycles throughout a player’s career. While some players are at a low, others are at a high. For the Ducks, they have a full range of NCAA and European prospects experiencing different points of the curve currently. Some are struggling while others are excelling. Changing teams, changing roles, and the pressure to perform all have an effect. How the player copes with this and grows from it is an important step in any young player’s career. Let us take a look at how each of the Ducks prospects of the NCAA and Europe have performed this season.
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.
Despite the amount of success the Anaheim Ducks have had in recent years, they have still put together a deep pool of talent with a great deal of variety. Their mid-round drafting has been superb and they have rarely failed with high round picks, such as Nick Ritchie. The team is currently seeing an influx of role players and depth players to help support the already high-end talent the NHL team has. It is this sort of cohesiveness to the pipeline that puts the Ducks near the top of the league in overall prospect talent.