It feels like we have been waiting for what seems like forever for meaningful hockey and when I woke up this morning I cheered that it was finally here. The Ducks roster currently sits at 23 players (NHL rules). Of those 23 players, 2 Goaltenders, 7 Defensemen and 14 Forwards. I will also include Emerson Etem and Luca Sbisa both of which are on the IR because if not hurt they would have made the team.
Ryan Getzlaf – Getzlaf will again man the number one center position. He is the catalyst for this team and while he can’t do it all alone this team goes when he goes.
Mathieu Perreault – Former Boudreau disciple known for his speed and tenacity despite his size. Looks to be competing with Bones for number two center position. Has always played third and fourth line minutes but looks to be getting a shot to use his speed and skill on the second line.
Nick Bonino – Bones looks to have beaten out Peter Holland but will now battle against Matthew Perreault for the number two center spot with the loser destined to log fourth line minutes. Bones ran into injury problems last year but when he was healthy he was very effective.
Saku Koivu – Saku will take his place as the center on the third line. After he enjoyed a nice little resurgence with Cogliano and Winnik as his wings last year, the Ducks will definitely need his veteran presence, smart playing, and good face-off skills again this year.
Peter Holland – Was fighting for the number two center spot with Nick Bonino but after a lackluster showing in the preseason the brain trust decided to bring in Matheiu Perrault. With the acquisition of Perrault, Holland will most likely be sent down to Norfolk.
Right Wing: (4 + 1 IR)
Corey Perry – The other twin, who received an equally large contract extension last year, had a down year. While he was up to his normal instigating ways he was unable to reproduce his goal scoring ways. I know the Ducks are looking forward to a rebound season from Perry. Hey Corey a 40 goal season would be great!
Teemu Selanne – What can’t be said that hasn’t been said already. My favorite Duck and I’m sure most of yours. Teemu has stated that this will definitely be his last season and I plan on relishing ever game of it. After coming out of the gates on fire last season he will look to be a steady contributor on the score sheet night in and night out.
Kyle Palmieri – Palms is my candidate for the Ducks breakout player of the year. He has nice numbers last year while rotating through the lines. While his game is similar to Bobby Ryan in that it’s one way, he spent most of the offseason working on being a two way player. He was also selected to Team USA’s summer camp and looks to have a very bright future in front of him.
Emerson Etem – Etem will start the upcoming season on the IR after a collision with Rafi Torres. He looks to build on a solid campaign last season where his forechecking and penalty killing provided a large boost for the Ducks.
Andrew Cogliano – Cogs is another one of our high energy power killing forwards. He is in the last year of his contract and is looking for a solid year for another pay day.
Left Wing: (5)
Dustin Penner – The Ducks brought Penner in a low risk contract hoping for a reunion of the PPG line that led the Ducks to a Stanley Cup. Penner had a slow start to camp and was out played by Patrick Maroon.
Matt Belesky – Matt is a rugged hard working winger for the Ducks. He has spent time on the first line as well as the fourth. He has shown the ability to mix it up and drop the gloves while also being able to put it in the back of the net. He is an important part of the Ducks forward rotation moving forward.
Jakob Silfverberg – Jakob was the main piece coming to the Ducks in the Bobby Ryan trade. From all news coming out of Ducks camp was that Silf has been as good as advertised and more. Silf caught the injury bug towards the end of camp but has since been activated and looks to start opening night.
Daniel Winnik – Winger/Center who looks like he will make the team as a multipurpose player. Most likely he will not suit up every night but based on match ups and injuries could provide the Ducks with valuable depth.
Patrick Maroon – Pat is a big bodied (6’3″ 229lb) winger who has some versatility and grit. Maroon has been a scorer down in the AHL for the Admirals. He had 26-24-50 in Norfolk last year. He is the surprise addition to the roster this season
Defensemen: (7 + 1 IR)
Bryan Allen – Bryan’s first season in Anaheim crashed and burned. He wasn’t the physical presence we hoped him to be and was more a liability than help at times. Allen is a big bodied stay at home defenseman and needs to step up his game this year. While the expectations are not to score a ton of goals but rather to clean up in front of the net and become an imposing presence on our blue line.
Francois Beauchemin – With question marks this offseason of whether Beauch would be on the opening day roster after tearing his ACL in the playoffs, he surprised us all and took part in the entire training camp. The Ducks D-corps is young and shaky but if Beauch can have a repeat of last year and lead the kids they may surprise us all.
Mark Fistric – Fistric’s physical presence is something that should help the Ducks this season. His steady presence on the back end will help activate our young offensive defensemen.
Cam Fowler – At 22 this will be Cams fourth NHL season. Still a youngster he seems to be most fans whipping boy when the defense has problems. Maybe this is wishful thinking but I expect and think Cam will deliver this season.
Hampus Lindholm – Hampus who? Do you all remember when he was drafted? The fans wanted Bobs head, after he passed up on “surefire” defense prospects and selected Lindholm. He has looked great in training camp and scored a number of goals in the preseason. He may end up jumping between Anaheim and Norfolk this season but this kid looks to be the real deal!
Luca Sbisa – While Sbisa starts the season on the IR, he will be in the starting lineup when he returns. He has never quite lived up to his billing as a top four defensemen and prospect we received in the Chris Pronger trade. He is running out of time and the Ducks are looking forward to him stepping up this year.
Sami Vatanen – Another of the Ducks young offensive guns, Vatanen proved he could play in the NHL at the end of last year. While his size (5’10″ 180) is not imposing his speed and ability to quarterback the powerplay is certainly there. The key for him is learning to use his size to not be a detriment on the back end
Ben Lovejoy – Last years most surprising player after a trade to the Ducks during the season helped him receive a three year extension this offseason. While he was never a top four defender previously the Ducks are looking to a repeat of his solid play last season.
The Ducks look to be in good shape to make another run for the pacific division title.