Anaheim Ducks Top-10 Prospects (1-5)
Despite being perennial playoff contenders, the Anaheim Ducks have managed to develop quite a lot of young talent and accrue solid prospects. That’s not the easiest thing to do and is very impressive in my opinion. The Ducks have managed to add young defenseman continuously with the likes of Fowler, Lindholm, Montour, Vatanen and Manson…even sometimes to other teams with the likes of Schultz, Gardiner and Theodore. They have however not been able to crack the looming issue of their aging centre position.
1. Sam Steel – Centreman, 5’11 185lbs, 20 Years Old, 30th Overall 2016, Regina Pats in the WHL
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The hope for a centre able to join the Ducks’ top-six falls largely on the shoulders of Sam Steel. The 30th pick in 2016 has had back to back dominant junior seasons for the Pats. He has scored an eye opening 214 points over the past two seasons. During those two seasons he has added a lot of accomplishments to his resume.
CHL Top Scorer Award (131)
WHL (East) First All-Star Team
WHL Most Points (131)
WHL Player of the Year
CHL Memorial Cup Most Points (13)
CHL Memorial Cup Most Valuable Player
To say he dominated junior is an understatement. Steel was an animal during the Memorial Cup and well deserved his Move Valuable Player Award, even if the Pats weren’t able to win it all.
He was also a key member of the Gold Winning Canadian World Junior squad. He was second on the team in scoring with 9 points.
He has the speed and vision to be an impact top-6 forward and potentially even more. His development has been trending extremely well since he was originally drafted.
Next season Steel is going to fight for a spot on the Ducks, though he might be another year away. If he plays with the Gulls he will be working with a very strong development team.
Potential : Top-6 Scoring Centre
2. Isac Lundeström - Left Winger, 6’0 185lbs, 18 Years Old, 23rd Overall 2018, Luleå HF in the Elitserien
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Lundeström was the Ducks most recent first round pick and I think it was a good one. The last time the Ducks drafted a Swedish forward in the first round it turned out to be Rakell and we all know how that has turned out.
Lundeström is a very good player on the forecheck and does a lot of his damage behind the net. He sets up plays very well from a standstill and can create scoring chances from very little, especially on the Power Play. His 15 points put him in second among recent draft eligible scorers from the Elitserien. Behind Dahlin. The fact that by 18 he has played 91 games in the highest level of Professional Swedish Hockey is quite an accomplishment and a testimony to his maturity.
Lundeström played a bit part on the Silver Medal Swedes at the U20 tournament this past year. He managed to score 2 goals from the fourth line in 7 games. He looked poised and confident. He had a better showing last year at the U18’s as Sweden’s best forward.
This year will be very interesting for him. He’s likely going to move up in the lineup for Luleå HF and there is potential for him to play centre, which is the position he plays in the SuperElit. He will also be looked at to be a major player for the Swedish U20 team. Similar to Filip Forsberg who also played a small role in his draft year and then had a breakout the following season as the Swedes top scoring threat.
Potential : Top-6 Winger
3. Troy Terry - Right Winger, 6’1 174lbs, 20 Years Old, 148th Overall 2015, University of Denver in the NCAA
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Terry has a lot of buzz going right now after he turned pro at the end of his NCAA season. He made the USA’s Olympic Team and had a very good showing with 5 assists. Good for second on the team behind fellow young gun Ryan Donato. He played two games for the Ducks during the regular season and watched the plodding Ducks get swept from the press box. His speed would have been much appreciated against the Knights in my opinion.
Terry has a legacy of winning that seems to follow him around. You may remember he scored a highlight reel goal in the U20’s which was the Golden Goal. He has won U18 Gold, U20 Gold, the NCAA Championship and the NCHC Division Championship. Terry had two fantastic seasons in the NCAA, especially for a player of his young age. As a 19/20 year old he amassed 93 points in 74 games interchangeably leading Denver in points with Panthers Top Prospect Henrik Borgström.
He’s a skilled guy and I find his positioning on the PP to be very interesting. He lines up on the blueline and plays the distributor. He’s known for his reputation as a big game player and always seems to come up with clutch plays when needed most.
Next season there are two options. He either starts with the Gulls or make the Ducks full time. Considering the Ducks lack of speed, I think it would be a smart idea to start him in the NHL on the third line.
Potential : Second Line Scoring Threat
4. Jacob Larsson - Left Defenseman, 6’2 194lbs, 21 Years Old, 27th Overall 2015, San Diego Gulls in the AHL
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Larsson is going to be the next young defenseman to graduate onto the Ducks. Larsson is a smooth skating two-way defenseman whose offensive impact will likely be marginal in the NHL. He’s a solid player in his own zone and a good puck mover. He’s not exactly the sexiest player and his upside isn’t the highest. He’s expected to be a solid everyday NHL defenseman.
He’s played in two WJC’s and had solid outings at both playing a primarily defensive role. His rookie season in the AHL was solid. He finished fourth in defense scoring and was a team high +12.
With so many quality defensemen on the Ducks, it’s likely that Larsson starts the season in the AHL and is a call up player. That would probably be for the best as he’s probably going to play the role of the Gulls top defenseman.
Potential : 4-5 Two-Way Defenseman
5. Josh Mahura – Left Defenseman, 6’1 190lbs, 20 Years Old, 85th Overall 2016, Regina Pats in the WHL
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Mahura is a prospect on the rise and has been fantastic since being traded to the Pats last season. He was a big part of their Memorial Cup run. He was their highest scoring defenseman with 7 points in the 5 game tournament. He’s a lethal player on the Power Play and possesses a fantastic shot. Hard, quick and accurate. He gets it off in a hurry too. He’s a solid skater and makes quick decisions in the neutral zone.
Mahura suffered a major knee injury during his draft season and only managed to play 2 games in the regular season before returning for the playoffs. His play after his injury has been very impressive to say the least.
Mahura in my estimation is a boom/bust prospect. He has a lot of offensive awareness, but he wasn’t even trusted to play on the Penalty Kill in junior, which is a bit of a red flag. Due to the potential for scoring at the NHL level, I’ve ranked him higher than maybe I should. Next season he will be playing for the San Diego Gulls, likely with his friend and teammate Sam Steel.
Potential : 3-4 Offensive Defenseman
Thanks for reading. Part Deux Tomorrow and yes I will be doing this for every team.