Brad Senecal: Marco Rossi
As a Canadian, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Jamie Drysdale at the 2019-20 World Junior Championship and really thought for the longest time he would be the perfect pick. However, after watching the Anaheim Ducks this past year, it was really clear to see how much help was needed upfront.
At only 5’9”, Rossi is one of the smallest players in this year’s draft, however, he is one of the most creative in this year’s draft. Time will tell if he will remain a Center in the NHL, as his size may cause some concerns about him staying there, but after a 120 point season in his draft year with the Ottawa 67’s, Rossi is a player who could help the Anaheim Ducks’ scoring woes for years to come.
Ben Thomasian: Jake Sanderson
The Anaheim Ducks haven’t drafted many defencemen over the past few years and with one of those recently being loaned recently to a Slovakian team, the time seems right for them to dip their toes back into the defensive pool. Rawer than a greyhounds dinner, potential second pairing defenceman, Jake Sanderson has the tools to become a “two-way” threat from the blue line.
A toolset that as we all know, GM Bob Murray bats off to with vigor. Perhaps an underrated asset of Sanderson’s that also fits in Murray’s wheelhouse, is his ability to transition the puck. In fact, according to InStat, Sanderson leads the draft class in this metric.
Cam Fowler has long been excellent at it. Hampus Lindholm is strong. Troy Terry has it as a strength. Newcomer, Sonny Milano has it as his best attribute. Will Sanderson be the next Duck to display this strength? I think he will be.
Garrett Brown: Jamie Drysdale
Always a fun exercise to predict the unpredictable. With the Anaheim Ducks, our jobs are uniquely difficult; especially given the team’s recent propensity to go off the board. However, when Drysdale is made available to the Ducks at 6, they would be remiss not to fill a glaring need on the roster.
By selecting the best player at his position in Drysdale, the Ducks are taking a significant step forward in their “rebuilding” process. There remains a hole on the right side of the Duck’s defense, and by slotting the Erie Otter prospect into the Duck’s top-four, it looks much more daunting.
Drysdale playing alongside either one of Hampus Lindholm or Cam Fowler would be an unnerving sight for Pacific Division coaches. He has already proven his adept for quarterbacking power-plays at the junior level. And currently, with Manson being the only right-handed, top-four caliber defenseman rostered, Drysdale would slide right into a spot that he should quickly become comfortable with.
He is one of those players that make the game appear to slow down for him. Hugely evocative of Cale Makar or Quinn Hughes, Drysdale seems to be the next young defender in possession of awe-inspiring talent. Players of his caliber are not only capable of contributing on the power-play, they impose their will and solely create chances. And these compliments aren’t to undersell his defensive ability. He regularly shuts the opponent’s offensive plays down and is able to transition with ease, creating offense from nothing.
Ciara Durant: Marco Rossi
I was on the Alex Holtz train for quite a while, that is until I heard the name Marco Rossi and dug into the career of one of the most dedicated players I’ve ever had the pleasure of researching. Since then, I have been a big proponent of drafting Rossi with the 6th overall draft pick.
His well-rounded game would make him the perfect addition to the Anaheim Ducks. We witnessed how much of a train wreck 2019-20 was for Murray’s Ducks and it truly revealed a lot of cracks and flaws.
Rossi is not only an offensive magician, but he plays a very solid defensive game as well. He has been an incredible asset to the 67’s penalty kill as well. His creativity is through the roof and watching him play hockey is a real treat. Rossi is incredibly mature and he is always putting in the hard work to make himself better both on and off the ice.
Every area the Anaheim Ducks need help in, Rossi is an expert in. While the Ducks could go for a player who specializes in one area of the game, it would, in my opinion, be a mistake for Bob Murray and co. to pass up on such a well-rounded player should he be available at 6th overall.