May 10, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson (36) is congratulated by center Nick Bonino (13) and defensemen Cam Fowler (4) and Hampus Lindholm (47) and Francois Beauchemin (23) and Ben Lovejoy (6 ) after game four of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. The Ducks defeated the Kings 2-0 to tie the series 2-2. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Anaheim Ducks Rank 5th In Early Power Rankings

It’s never too early to talk hockey. It’s never too early to talk about who will win the Stanley Cup next season, even if it was just awarded a few weeks ago.

In an early Power Ranking in the latest edition of Sports Illustrated, the Anaheim Ducks rank No. 5 in the Top 10 list.

Allan Muir of SI gives us his lowdown on the Ducks heading into the off-season.

Teemu Selanne retired; a few others will likely depart, leaving cap room for a second-line center (Ryan Kesler?) and a veteran D-man.” – Muir

There should be no surprise that Muir mentions the Ducks courting a second-line center. However, the veteran defenseman may be a bit of a stunner.

It all depends on how things shake out with Sheldon Souray and Stephane Robidas. If both come back, the Ducks should be set on the back line. However, if both are gone and a young defenseman is included in a trade, Muir could be spot on.

Here is the full Top 10 Power Rankings list:

1. Chicago Blackhawks

2. Los Angeles Kings

3. Boston Bruins

4. St. Louis Blues

5. Anaheim Ducks

6. San Jose Sharks

7. Pittsburgh Penguins

8. Dallas Stars

9.  New York Rangers

10. Colorado Avalanche

As for my personal opinion, the Ducks should be ahead of the Blues and in a tie with the Boston Bruins for third.

Despite losing Selanne, Jonas Hiller, Saku Koivu, and Daniel Winnik, the Ducks will bring back majority of their scoring and the prospect pool in Norfolk is one of the best around. A deep prospect pool means plenty of trade bait to get a guy like Kesler or Senators center Jason Spezza who can lift Anaheim over the hump it has been stuck on the past two seasons.

It will be interesting to see what the rankings say once the summer is all said and done.

With preseason schedules being announced, hockey season is already right around the corner.

What do you think about the Ducks being ranked 5th by Sports Illustrated?

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