Rebuilding the Anaheim Ducks from Home-Grown Parts

Sam Steel #34 of the Anaheim Ducks breaks out with Troy Terry #61 (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Sam Steel #34 of the Anaheim Ducks breaks out with Troy Terry #61 (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Anaheim Ducks
Rickard Rakell #67 congratulates Jakob Silfverberg #33 of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Concluding This Thesis

With all of the above said, the Anaheim Ducks have managed to accrue a bottom 6 group that would be the envy of many teams around the league. They have one clear piece of a future top 6 in hand and could easily find another in this year’s draft with the 6th overall selection. Rakell, as well, is still young enough to be part of the team for another half-decade or more.

There is even some hope that the current prospect pool could grow into true second-line players. The Ducks’ best defencemen are still young enough that they should be useful for the next four years or more. Not necessarily in a top pairing role, but certainly part of a strong defensive unit. John Gibson mans the net for now, and Lukas Dostal appears to be his heir apparent.

Taking that on board, the Ducks have a foundation they can springboard forward from. However, it may require a change of strategy. Instead of taking the safe bet and attempting to merely draft certain NHL players, the Ducks should maybe consider taking the long odds and drafting a potential superstar.

Instead of making safe trades with minor pieces, perhaps they go big and swing for the fences. They only require but a few key pieces, and it would seem that they could acquire in the first couple of rounds between this season’s draft and the 2022 entry-level draft (I’m not ever letting my Brad Lambert love go).

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A strong 2nd line center in this seasons draft, a strong top-pairing caliber defenceman in next seasons draft, and a goal-scoring wing in the 2022 draft should be the plan with their first-round selections. Picking up a boom or bust scorer, a power-play quarterback, and a steady second pairing defenceman may round out any additional selections they may have over those years.

Boom or Bust

With that given, it would appear that only the “boom or bust” scorer is the one they would need to gamble on. With that said, the Anaheim Ducks have been in the lottery mix the past two seasons and could be again in the next two. Should they be in a position to draft Aatu Raty with the first overall selection in 2021 or one of the three-headed monster draft (Wright, Savoie, or Lambert) in 2022, all best-laid plans would be thrown out and those players would be the new building blocks. This would be particularly true of Wright or Lambert, who are easily outstripping their 2021 draft comparables despite being younger in age.

Thus, in conclusion, a large scale rebuild and blowing it all up sounds like a good idea. Afterall more draft selections mean more bites of the cherry. This is particularly true of the future 2022 draft, which appears to be a super draft at the top end. Though it can be said that the Anaheim Ducks already have a foundation in place that will not necessitate them selling the farm.

By moving one or two pieces for draft picks over the next two seasons they will be getting much younger in the forward grouping, which by default will likely increase the variability of their performances. This could help their own draft selections be taken earlier, as well as adding additional chances to draft to needs.

With just a few smart moves and one big risk to needing to pan out, and the Anaheim Ducks could easily see themselves having the cattle to claw their way back into cup contention in a few year’s time. That could be true even without landing in the top-3 draft selections. From there… well, they’ll just need to hire a coaching staff to put all the pieces together.

Next. 2020 Draft Profile: Anton Lundell. dark

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