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.
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.
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.