Anaheim Ducks: Four of the Best Late Round Draft Picks

ANAHEIM, CA - FEBRUARY 27: Troy Terry #61, Josh Manson #42 and Hampus Lindholm #47 of the Anaheim Ducks celebrate Terry's third-period goal against the Chicago Blackhawks during the game at Honda Center on February 27, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - FEBRUARY 27: Troy Terry #61, Josh Manson #42 and Hampus Lindholm #47 of the Anaheim Ducks celebrate Terry's third-period goal against the Chicago Blackhawks during the game at Honda Center on February 27, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Ondrej Kase
ANAHEIM, CA – DECEMBER 12: Ondrej Kase #25 of the Anaheim Ducks skates with the puck during the third period of the game against the Dallas Stars at Honda Center on December 12, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Ondrej Kase— Anaheim Ducks 2014 7th Round Pick, 205th Overall

Choosing a player in the 7th round of the NHL Entry Draft is often a gamble. It is rare that a player sign with the team that drafted them, let alone make it to the NHL. Looking at the 2014 Draft in hindsight, only 22% of players drafted after the first round have made it to the NHL. Only a dismal 4% of these players have played over 100 games to this point.

Ondrej Kase, however, was a gamble that has worked out in the Anaheim Ducks favor. In his draft year, Kase was considered to be the best prospect to come out of the Czech Republic. However, he had a few things working against him. First of all, he lacked considerable bulk, standing at 6′ and barely tipping the scales as 165lbs. Secondly, due to his limited ice time playing alongside men, his stats didn’t particularly stand out. Lastly, due to his smaller size, his skating skills weren’t what they needed to be in order to be considered “elite.”

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Nevertheless, Kase’s flashy puck handling and passing skills, impressive agility, and incredible vision are what attracted Bob Murray and co. to the young Czech forward.  Plus, it was a nice incentive that he already played alongside other players who were of NHL age or older.

Following his draft year, Kase had a much better season with Piráti Chomutov (a team in the Czech2 league.) With 37 games under his belt, he posted 21 points (7g,14a.) However, he stood out even more during their playoff run, posting, on average, a point per game during their 11 game run.

During the 2015-16 season, Kase made the journey over the pond and began his AHL career with the San Diego Gulls. His season was limited to 25 games and only 14 points; going into the 2016-17 season, he was not one of the popular names on the radar of the fans. Nevertheless, he received two call up’s during the 2016-17 season and surprised a lot of people. Although, as a rookie, he has a 15 point season, he provided the Anaheim Ducks with a very important spark that had been missing, and he always seemed to show up exactly when needed.

Over the last two seasons, Kase has improved drastically, developing beautiful chemistry with Adam Henrique but also being relied upon to play in other places throughout the lineup and having great chemistry with whoever he plays alongside. He is often called the “energizer bunny” due to his ability to bring energy both on and off the ice.

Unfortunately, his 2018-19 season would be cut short due to a pre-season concussion and a season-ending shoulder injury. Nevertheless, when he was on the ice, the team was significantly better. He seems to be on the mend, and the “energizer bunny” should be back and better than ever in 2019-20!

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Who has been your favorite player drafted in the late rounds by the Anaheim Ducks over the past 25 years? Did they make our list? Let us know by leaving a comment for us down below!