The Final Pieces From The Draft
Taking the above into consideration, as well as the knowledge that the Anaheim Ducks already hold Boston’s first-round selection and their own early 2nd-round selection this season, it would appear that the Ducks will be drafting in this portion of the entry draft time and again over the next few seasons.
This isn’t necessarily a bad place to draft future stars if we consider that future NHL players, Arthur Kaliyev and Akil Thomas, have been drafted by a rebuilding LA Kings team in the 2nd round these past two years.
Both of these players have gone from strength to strength and are currently considered on track to be top-line forwards. Kaliyev in particular, scored so prolifically this past season PNHLe has him pegged as a potential superstar scorer. Alex DeBrincat is another who slipped through the cracks to be taken in the 2nd-round, and who has gone on to score 40 goals in the NHL.
Given the Anaheim Ducks would have their bottom-6 forward all locked up and all young of an age, they would then be able to take wild swings at boom or bust options like Kaliyev or DeBrincat, to round out their top 6 forward grouping.
In this current draft, there would appear to be more steady forwards on offer in the mentioned range, however, two players could stand out. Firstly, the unlikely to still be available, Hendrix Lapierre has had an awful run of injuries and could slide down to the later part of the 1st round. Noel Gunler is the second player who stands out who could slide down the draft order.
He clearly has the offensive chops to be a star scorer in the league and could slide due to perceived attitude issues. Both players would likely not be on the Anaheim Ducks radar in a normal drafting year, but both have high upsides and could be considered with the Boston selection should they still be available should the Ducks deign to take a risk.
While some pundits would concern themselves with a lack of defensive players in the Ducks prospect pool, it should be mentioned that the Ducks currently have their own 2nd round pick this season, which could be used to acquire a defenceman such as Helge Grans, Justin Barron, Shakir Mukhamamadullin or even William Wallinder, should he drop.
None of these players projects as a top-pairing player, but all look to sit around the second pairing. Next season’s draft looks to be a lot heavier on defencemen, and the Ducks could look to bolster their blue line there. It’s worth mentioning once more that the Ducks top defencemen are not particularly old today, and as such the Anaheim Ducks have time to transition to a younger top-4 unit.
Lindholm will still certainly be useful in 4 years, whereas they merely need to plan to move on from Fowler and Manson at present. In 4 years time, they will be 33-years-old and could still be very functional players.