Anaheim Ducks Rank Low In Corey Pronmans Annual Prospect Ranking

Benoit-Olivier Groulx reacts after being selected 54th overall by the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Benoit-Olivier Groulx reacts after being selected 54th overall by the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Anaheim Ducks
Sam Steel #34 of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Sam Steel

Sam Steel especially may have some room to move. His star has certainly waned from his big junior season, however, he compares relatively well to the recently moved Kasperi Kapanen. At 22 years of age, Kapanen had 55 NHL and 10 points (8G, 2A) games over a span of three seasons. Steel, on the other hand, has scored at a 0.38 point per game pace (33 points in 87 games) over his three seasons in the NHL.

Kapanen did eventually “break out” in his fourth year of NHL play (at 23 years old), and it remains to be seen whether Steel can match this feat. It is somewhat notable that Kapanen in that year was being groomed for the penalty kill, and played the 8th most short-handed minutes of the forwards on his team in that 22-years-old aged season (1:05 per game).

Steel, conversely, was the 12th ranked forward TOI on the penalty kill (0:21 per game) and was seemingly not in the teams’ plans in that aspect of the game. Nonetheless, Steel may have more room to move than some would give him credit for and is worth persevering with

Max Jones

Jones is a bit of a funny one in that the organization didn’t do him a lot of favors in terms of finding him top-6 ice time, offensively-minded linemates, or a spot on one of the power-play units. Specifically, Jones was the 18th ranked forward for ice time on the power-play (0:31 per game), behind notable names such as Sam Carrick and Andrew Agozzino. Players such as Derek Grant and Devin Shore also make appearances.

In fact, of the regular skaters, only Carter Rowney and Nicolas Deslauriers played fewer minutes with the man advantage. Just to bring that into perspective, this is an Anaheim Ducks prospect who was drafted in the first round and was said to have the potential to be the best power forward in his draft class at one time.

A power forward who, at the time of the draft, was projected to be a top-6 forward who had good enough wheels to put pressure on the opposition with his skating and the strength to bully his way to the net. Yet, the Ducks are “developing” him in the bottom 6 as a grinder. Go figure.

Max Comtois

Hells bells, Comtois in his 29 games was granted the 5th most power-play time of any forward on the Anaheim Ducks (2:11 per game). As Pronman said, Comtois looks to be an excellent 2nd round selection, yet he maybe doesn’t have the tools that Jones does. Whether you agree with that statement or not, it befuddles the mind that one player can be given so much rope and another be given none at all.

These should be development years for the Ducks, as they push their youth to improve and help them climb up the standings once again. Why then, does Sam Carrick, and whatever an Andrew Agozzino is, have twice the power-play time per game than one of the Anaheim Ducks best prospects?

For the Ducks to realize the potential in their prospects, they’ll need to put them each in positions to succeed. I can’t imagine that has been the case thus far, and perhaps it is still the thinking of an organization that believes that it’s good enough to win a cup as currently built. Still, perhaps the coach brought in to develop the young players he knew in San Diego, will get around to doing that this coming season.