The Anaheim Ducks made an exciting announcement today with the signing of their 9th overall first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, Trevor Zegras.
It has been 17 days since we last saw the Anaheim Ducks take the ice. For those of us who religiously follow the sport and the team, these 17 days have seemed like an eternity. The radio silence has been deafening, as contradictory as that sounds. Nevertheless, in the wake of the paused 2019-20 season, the Anaheim Ducks have announced that they have signed Trevor Zegras to a 3-year entry-level contract.
It has been debated among fans as to whether or not they feel another year in the NCAA would benefit the young forward. However, Zegras believes he is ready to take the next step in his professional career, and he has not been silent about his thoughts. After an incredible freshman season with the University of Boston, there are no doubts that Trevor will be an impact player at all levels.
There is the question as to whether or not Bob Murray and Dallas Eakins will throw Zegras into the NHL too early. Nevertheless, Zegras has shown incredible stamina and performs well under pressure. With the ink on his shiny new 3-year ELC freshly dried, the Anaheim Ducks have taken a big step into a very bright future for their organization.
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Zegras’ Incredible 2019-20 Performance
Over the course of the 2019-20 season, it was clear to Anaheim Ducks fans who followed Zegras on the college circuit that his rare talent was something the franchise hadn’t seen since they drafted Ryan Getzlaf in 2003. The competition between the 2019 U.S. National U18 Team draftee’s was a hot topic this season. While, technically, Cole Caufield came out on top, he and Zegras both tied in points, with 36, Zegras played 3 fewer games.
The freshman center spent a lot of time on the first line this season with seniors Patrick Curry and Patrick Harper. Finishing his season with 36 points in 33 games, he ranked second on his team in assists and third in points. Zegras was one of only three freshmen to finish with a point per game season.
To add to an already impressive NCAA resume, Zegras had 6 3-point games over the course of the 2019-20 season, making him one of only 11 players in the nation to post 5 or more 3+ point games. Prior to the season-ending due to the COVID-19 outbreak, he also earned a spot on the Hockey East All-Rookie Team and was named a third-team honoree for the 2019-20 Hockey East All-Stars.
Zegras was also named Hockey East Rookie of the week not just once, but twice, in the span of a month (November 11th and December 9th.) His passion and dedication for the game has become more evident with each new challenge he faces. There is no doubt that he will be an impact player at any level he wishes to play at.
Taking his talents to the international stage, Zegras also had a very impressive showing during the 2020 World Junior Championship in January. Starting off on the fourth line, on the wing, Zegras quickly proved that he deserved more ice time. With 9 primary assists in 5 games, he led Team USA in both assists and points. He would be named one of the top 3 players of the event for Team USA, his performance creating a lot of buzz in the hockey world.
Finding Trevor Zegras’ Second Half in the 2020 Draft
While Trevor Zegras is one of the most exciting players the Anaheim Ducks have drafted in quite some time, he cannot lead the Anaheim Ducks into the future by himself. That is too large of a task for anyone. Not even Connor McDavid could do that for the Edmonton Oilers. The 2020 draft is a great opportunity for Bob Murray and the Anaheim Ducks to draft a player who can both compliment Zegras skills as an incredible passer and help carry the burden of bringing the Anaheim Ducks back to a status of relevance.
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With his ELC signed, should the 2019-20 season resume, Zegras could very well help the San Diego Gulls in their playoff run. If you would like to write about players like Zegras and their impact on the future of the Anaheim Ducks, apply to write for Pucks of a Feather with the link above.