The Anaheim Ducks have a crop of worthy prospects vying for a spot on the team, but at the end of the day, it is likely only three will make the cut.
Out with the old, in with the new. That should be the Anaheim Ducks mantra for the 2019-20 season. Randy Carlyle is out, and Dallas Eakins has assumed the position as head coach. There are several other changes to the coaching staff as well that will usher in the change needed to promote healthy development for the younger generation.
Of course, the team still needs their wise leaders that can be found in the core of veterans led by Ryan Getzlaf. However, the transition to a younger, faster, and more dynamic team begins this year. There are several prospects vying for a full-time spot on the roster, and many deserve it. Nevertheless, Bob Murray has made it clear that only three or four of the “Ducklings” will make the cut.
"“I’m not going to put six, seven kids into our lineup right off the bat. You’re setting them up for failure and we have to set them up for success… So they’re fighting for three or four jobs. And they’ve been told that [at development camp.]” -Bob Murray, Anaheim Ducks General Manager"
While Murray is taking a wise approach going into the new season, that means that Troy Terry, Sam Steel, Max Jones, Max Comtois, Keifer Sherwood, Josh Mahura, and Brendan Guhle are all competing against one another for a job. As much as we would like to see all of them in the lineup, it simply isn’t going to happen. They all deserve a shot, but what it all comes down to is the three players who outshine the rest.
Honorable Mention: Kiefer Sherwood
Although it is unlikely that the Anaheim Ducks have room to bring in a fourth prospect due to their current log jam on the wing, if they did move things around a little bit, Kiefer Sherwood would be the perfect player to slot in on the 4th line to make the team a little more well rounded.
Even though most people didn’t consider him to be anything more than an AHL acquisition, he impressed out of the gate last season and earned himself a spot on the roster. Yes, giving him a roster spot does take another spot away from the likes of Max Jones and Max Comtois, but he deserves it just as much as they do.
He has to work harder than any of the other prospects out on the ice just to prove that he belongs in an NHL lineup. Sherwood doesn’t back down and always has his nose to the grindstone. He brought energy to the lineup last season, especially the bottom 6, that the Anaheim Ducks could use as they proceed with their re-tool.
Prediction: Should Sherwood earn a spot on the roster, he will slot in on the 4th line. However, it is more than likely he will spend a majority of his season with the San Diego Gulls unless there is an injury in the big club, opening up a spot for him.