Brad Senecal: Tyson Forester
With their second-round pick, I have the Ducks going for another forward with scoring upside. Forester has been ranked anywhere from 15th to 46th based on the different available prospect ranks. However, he has a lot to his skill set that if he is still available once the Ducks get to this pick, they should be able to jump at the opportunity.
A Center standing a 6’1 and currently just under 200-pounds as an 18-year old, Forester has a big body with a knack of getting to the net, putting up a 36-44-80 line in 62 games played this past season. Depending on who the Ducks pick earlier in this draft along with Trevor Zegras and Sam Steel, the Ducks will be able to be patient with Forester should they select him, giving him time to develop and become an impact player for the team in the long term.
Ben Thomasian: Helge Grans
I’ve been joking about the Ducks taking Grans with the #6 selection for a while, but in reality, they have a long look at him in the second round should he still be available. Another big Swede, like Wallinder, he could do wonders to set the Ducks second and third pairings in the near future with a strong first pass.
While the Anaheim Ducks would like to see him use his size more efficiently, Grans has time to put that side of his game together as he adds more strength to his frame. Already a good skater with a strong shot, Grans will need time to work on his defensive play before he can realize his potential as a “two-way” second pairing defenceman.
Garrett Brown: Ty Smilanic
For this pick, I am going to get more inside the heads of the Anaheim Ducks by going slightly off the board. As we are seeing more and more every year, grit and determination are a highly sought after commodity in today’s NHL, especially come playoff time. Smilanic is a player who has shown all this and more during his amateur career to this point. Add to that, he shows tremendous offensive upside according to The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler.
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Projected by most to be a late second-rounder, Smilanic was initially expected to be a lock for round one. However, due to a draft-year that included mono, a high ankle sprain, and a broken hand, Smilanic fell down the rankings. It’s apparent that teams are low on him due to these circumstances, but I believe that the team that takes a chance will reap the benefits sooner rather than later.
The Anaheim Ducks currently appear to have a fair amount of players who don’t want to do the dirty work and put their bodies on the line in order to further the team. Smilanic has proven this to be a part of his game, as Wheeler stated in his draft profile, “I was told that among his four outside fingers, only the index wasn’t in the cast.” And his hand remained this way for a large chunk of the season.
If anything, his draft year showed his character. His skill has never been in question as he projects to be a point-producing workhorse at the next level. Smilanic hates not having the puck, and when he gets it, it’s tough to move him off of it. With some added weight and a structurally sound hand, this skill is a service that the Ducks can utilize up and down the lineup.
Ciara Durant: Ridly Greig
Ridly Greig kind of reminds me of a mixture of Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Kase, and if you’ve followed me for any length of time, you knew how much I loved those two players prior to them being traded to Boston. So, of course, he is a player I’d love Bob Murray to consider.
He has an energy that drives the pace of the game, very similar to Kase. Much like Ritchie, he isn’t afraid to get down and dirty. While he sometimes tends to enter dangerous waters, he is sound in his decision making.
If we can’t have Nick Ritchie on our team, we might as well go for Ridly Greig. In all seriousness though, Greig plays with the intensity and grit that we all know Bob Murray loves. He has been exposed to the sport of hockey his entire life and knows the in’s and out’s of the game like the back of his hand.
He is wise and aware. His size may be a bit of an issue, considering he is only 5’11’ and 159lbs. However, we all know that the NHL is moving away from size and more towards skill, and Greig has that in spades. He is a speedy player, who can play both center and on the wing, making him a versatile asset that Murray could add to his arsenal.
Be sure to catch the draft to see who the Ducks end up selecting. The draft will be held virtually this year starting on October 6th at 4 pm PT and concluding October 7th at 8:30 am PT.
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