Both the Anaheim Ducks and their AHL affiliate San Diego Gulls are into their respective post-seasons, and it has been a strong year for both squads. Youth has been on display throughout the organization, as the Ducks also have a ton of tremendous talents further down in the CHL and NCAA, and overseas in Europe. As a whole it has been a pretty productive year for the Ducks pipeline, with almost too many players and not enough awards to highlight achievements! You could find multiple winners for each award, and unfortunately we could only pick one for each category.
While the NHL season has been altogether disappointing for the Anaheim Ducks, fans should take solace in the fact that the AHL team is not having a particularly bad season. They started quite hot, cooled considerably in November but started to come back around in December. With the current way the AHL is structured, with the Pacific playing fewer games, it is hard to get a handle on just how they compare with the rest of the league as of right now. Personnel moves in the organization will also affect the team as the season enters its critical second-half.
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.
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.