How Does all of that Fit into Plans of Contending for a Cup?
Last season, saw Adam Henrique lead the scoring with 26-goals and 43-points. Rickard Rakell and Ryan Getzlaf joined him as 40-point producers. Of those, Henrique exceeded his production from the previous season. Rakell hit nearly the same marks. Getzlaf saw a small decline of 6-points.
Rounding out the top 5 scorers, Jakob Silfverberg came close to his career scoring marks and defenceman Cam Fowler had one of his more productive seasons. The 6th best scorer is no longer on the team, having been traded for David Backes. Thus, the question of “how much upside is left in this group at the top end” should be asked.
It’s been mentioned previously, yet perhaps it’s worth mentioning again. The Anaheim Ducks, despite their vaunted “youth movement”, iced the 10th oldest team in the league this year. With respect to their scoring woes and how much upside is left in the group, they iced the 3rd oldest forward group in the NHL. As a direct comparison to their peers, the Ducks forward group was older than all of those from teams in this season’s playoff race. If the Ducks ranked 28th overall for the age of the forwards the iced, the average of the playoff group this year was ~14th (range: 1st-27th).
It may possibly be worth mentioning, that of the regular skaters, the Ducks iced only fewer players under 24 years of age than the league average. They, of course, did trial other players, but they didn’t stick. What is notable is that the teams in this year’s playoff bracket iced a greater number of players in this age range than their counterparts. In essence, this shows the necessity of teams being able to find contributors at a young age.
With the Ducks’ current age demographic being somewhat elevated compared to their peers, it could be suggested that they may need to acquire some younger contributors to make that jump back into the upper echelons of the league. However, the lack of cap space the Ducks have to their name may now create difficulties in finding trade partners who can provide what the Ducks are in need of. In a flat cap world, it’s more likely that teams will be looking to trade contracts of similar financial value.