The Anaheim Ducks will have multiple decisions to make this coming summer. And with the “next wave” of Ducks absolutely coming next season there will be some pieces that need to be shipped off this summer.
It was well thought that the Anaheim Ducks would use this season to usher in the next wave of talent. The defensive shift was virtually completed but the talent up front all looked poised to break through and bring with it a new era of Ducks hockey. However, the Ducks got bogged down with old coaches and styles and turned this season into a pseudo “bridge year”. And as disappointing, irritating and obnoxious as that is it could turn out to be what’s best long term.
The Ducks will most likely get a very high draft pick and it allowed all their forward prospects to get another year in the minors or juniors to earn even more experience. But next season the Ducks will have no choice to promote this group as if they don’t it begins to stunt their growth and maturity. The likes of Sam Steel, Troy Terry, Max Jones, and Max Comtois are virtual locks to be on the roster and players like Kevin Roy and Isac Lundestrom should be pushing the envelope. That’s 4-6 forward out of 12 available spots. And with that, there is still the need to fit in Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Ryan Kesler, Adam Henrique, Rickard Rakell, Ondrej Kase etc. So who needs to go? General Manager Bob Murray should start moving these players first.
**Caveat: Jakob Silfverberg will not be listed in here as he has been written on extensively prior to this article**
5.) Carter Rowney
One of the multiple head-scratching signings last summer by Bob Murray and honestly the only one that has found a way to stick around. Carter Rowney was signed to a 3-year deal worth 1.13 million per. With the current cap in the NHL and Rowney knowing his role as a 4th liner that money wasn’t the head scratcher but more the term. It was like Murray needed to out-do other teams and added term. Rowney has actually been a pleasant surprise, not doing anything incredible but playing responsible and making smart plays when he is out there. Rowney hasn’t done anything wrong to this point but this summer he is just going to be in the way.
Rowney is now blocking some of the Ducklings mentioned above and they need to move him. Rowney has already tied his career high in goals for a season (3) and set career highs in assists (9) and points (12). He will most likely chip in a couple more points throughout the season and could finish the season with 15-20 points. The Ducks can easily move him to a team that needs a 3rd-4th line forward for a middling prospect or low draft pick, save some cap space and open a spot for one of the young guns. His cap hit and term are manageable for a team that needs that and all of the young players mentioned above should eclipse 20 points next season making them a far better option.