Through the years, Anaheim’s draft forays into the college ranks have run
hot and cold. There are success stories such as Paul Kariya and Jordan
Leopold (although Leopold’s success has been with another organization, in
Calgary). There have also been a more-than-equal number of players who have never
made the grade, such as Bill Cass and Brendan Buckley. The Ducks current
stable of college prospects all look to be coming along fairly nicely, however. Here, then, is
a closer look at Anaheim’s NCAA prospects.
Brandon Rogers, Defense, University of Michigan
Rogers is a junior at Michigan, with the young rearguard possibly being Anaheim’s best hope on the
blueline after Mark Popovic. Hockey’s Future NCAA correspondent DJ
Powers calls him “an excellent two-way defenseman” with “good size and (a)
terrific pair of hands…his puck handling skills are outstanding”. The
22-year-old is used in all game situations and is tied for the team lead in
power play points. He also leads all Woverine blueliners in points. Although a good
skater, Rogers could use his size better.
Shane Hynes, Right Wing, Cornell
Hynes is developing into exactly what Anaheim needs: a power forward.
He has the size, skill and grit to excel. “He makes tremendous use
of his large frame, particularly along the boards…he possesses some great
hands, as well,” says HF’s DJ Powers. Hynes is susceptible to
injuries, however, due to his rough style of play, and he’s not an exceptional skater.
The 20-year-old sophomore is second on his team in penalty minutes, as well as
fifth in scoring. He’s also tied for the team lead in power play goals with six.
Hynes needs to work on finishing plays and shooting the puck to
Dirk Southern, Center, Northern Michigan
Southern is one of the top offensive weapons for NMU. He plays mainly on the
top line as well as on special teams. Powers calls him “a skater with speed
who possesses great hands” and notes that “arguably his best attribute is on
faceoffs, where he excels, beating opponents by a wide margin on many
nights”. Southern is third on his team in scoring and is also the owner of the
second lowest plus/minus with a -6. The 20-year-old sophomore needs to bulk up and
play a stronger, more physical game if he hopes to withstand the rigors of the
Drew Miller, Left Wing, Michigan State
Miller comes from a long line of Millers playing at Michigan State
(including Ryan Miller, Kelly Miller and Kip Miller). He’s a grinder, who
despite his slight build doesn’t give up. DJ Powers notes “He’s not an
exceptionally skilled player, but he’s fiery, intense and plays with a lot of
passion and aggressiveness”. He may not be a top line player, but he plays a
hard game night in and night out. The 20-year-old freshman is tied for the
second worst plus/minus on his team (-5), and sometimes takes bad penalties.
–Brian Gornick was demoted to San Diego (ECHL) from Cincinnati (AHL)
on February 14th, 2004. The mammoth center made the most of it, recording two
goals and two assists in five games before returning to Cincinnati on February
22nd. In 24 games with Cincinnati, the 23-year-old has one goal and one assist
to go along with 12 penalty minutes.
-Goaltender Eddie Ferhi was demoted to San Diego (ECHL) from
Cincinnati (AHL) on March 5th, 2004. The 24-year-old Charenton, France
native wasn’t getting much playing time behind Ilya Bryzgalov, posing a dismal 2-10-2 record with Cincinnati in his limited appearances. Trevor Koening, the
29-year-old starting goalie in San Diego, was called up to Cincinnati to back up
Bryzgalov. In his first game with the Gulls, Ferhi notched a win, stopping
-Rookie Chris Kunitz was returned to Cincinnati from Anaheim after
playing in 21 games in the NHL. Kunitz was the AHL’s leading rookie scorer
when he was called up on January 13th, 2004. The return of Mike Leclerc, Rob
Niedermayer and Mikael Holmqvist from injury spelled the end of Kunitz’s
stint. One of the highlights of his time in the NHL was garnering five assists
in five games, including having two assists versus Edmonton on February 25th. The
24-year-old left-winger immediately returned to the top six in Cincinnati and
scored in his first game back with the Baby Ducks.
-Ducks prospects Ryan Getzlaf, Tim Brent and Corey
Perry were all ranked within the top 25 players in the Canadian Hockey
League by a league publication. Getzlaf was ranked third overall in
the WHL, and he is the top-ranked forward in that league. Brent was
ranked fifth in the OHL, while Perry was ranked 10th in that league.
Special Thanks to DJ Powers for her help with this article
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