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.
If the Anaheim Ducks management and scouts have done one thing right in their recent history, it is that they have made the top end picks count. While every team has its missed opportunities, flops, and top picks that do not live up to expectations, the Ducks have had an enviable success rate. The mid-season Top 20 features 13 players from rounds one through three, while the top ten features eight players from the first and second rounds. They are getting wonderful seasons from their best prospects, and that is one of the many reasons why the Ducks pipeline is considered one of the more promising in the NHL. It is a group whose promise goes even deeper than the twenty names here.
The Anaheim Ducks have done a fairly good job over the last several years of slowly phasing young players into the lineup, while not thrusting them entirely into the fray without preparation. For this reason, they have just three prospects who have garnered long-lasting NHL time on the year. With that being said, there are several prospects in the minors who are on the cusp of NHL time, but will probably see at least the remainder of the season with the Gulls in San Diego. There is not a whole lot of room on the Anaheim depth chart, but a few have still cut in and are making an attempt at regular playing time.
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.