Sam Colangelo, Chicago Steel, RW (36th Overall)
Brad Senecal: C+
Admittedly I feel very good about the way this draft was done on a round-to-round basis so I find myself having a tough time saying anything negative about the picks. However with the Anaheim Ducks issues in the scoring front in recent history, when there’s a potential steal in the draft and game-changer in Noel Gunler still available, it’s tough to see them pass on a player like that.
Even though it was not my preference, I am still excited to see how Sam Colangelo pans out for the Ducks. The right-wing spot on the team is very limited, as only Jakob Silfverberg, Troy Terry, and Kiefer Sherwood are the only players (who commonly play) at the position after this season. Colangelo brings a lot of things that Bob Murray likes in a player; size, aggressiveness, and defensive excellence. He also put up a 28-30-58 slash line in 44 games, so the offensive ability is there, it will be interesting to see if he can continue as he enters the pros.
Garrett Brown: B
Exceptional puck skills; shooting, protection, handling. This player has tools that are coveted by every team in the league. A goal-scorer of his stature and talent feels like a steal, albeit the second round is still relatively early.
Coupled with Perreault and a variety of other prospects, Colangelo will add to the Anaheim Ducks suddenly respectable stable of young forwards. He still needs to develop his all-around game and prove that he can carry a load offensively, but a few years at Northeastern University should do the trick.
Watching his highlight tapes make two things very apparent to me. First and foremost, he is willing and eager to use his frame to his advantage. As a heavy forechecker, it seems extremely difficult to move him off of the puck once he takes it off your stick. He is also willing to stick up for teammates, which is promising to see in a young prospect.
Second, he is extremely effective in tight spaces, which translates to a bevy of chances created by him. It seems, more often than not, that you find yourself wondering how he got out of a precarious situation. Through this, he is able to get shots off at almost any point in the offensive zone, regardless of coverage.
His gameplay matches up stylistically with that of Nikita Kucherov. Both players are high-volume shooters with deceivingly accurate, heavy wristers. And while both prefer to shoot, their known propensity for this creates opportunities for their teammates when defenders or goalies over-commit.
And that is when you see the precision passes through the middle of coverages, through players’ legs, or last-second dishes to the back door. Could definitely be worse. Based on the years needed to polish his game, I’ve graded him below where I believe he will end up.
Ben Thomasian: B
Colangelo was the player remaining with the highest “star power” according to Bryan Bader’s model, left with the Ducks selection. I highlighted in a previous article, the Ducks would likely require a strong defensive forward and a power forward who can play off the cycle and produce a net presence. Colangelo is all of that and has a decent shot to go with it.
Unlike many of the Ducks’ recent acquisitions, he is not a strong skater, though his acceleration is adequate. Likely this will allow him to be effective during a cycle and not off of the rush which puts him at odds, somewhat, with his Ducks peers. I think he’s worth a shot, though in a second-round teaming with wing prospects, in particular Noel Gunler and Daniel Torgersson, I wonder if he was the right selection. Nonetheless, he has something to his game that is worth exploring, even should he be future trade bait.
Ciara Durant: B+
While I am well aware that Noel Gunler was still on the board when the Anaheim Ducks were on the clock, and Ducks fans were quite high on him, I actually really like the Sam Colangelo selection. He has the potential to be a great asset to the team, and it helps that Trevor Zegras is one of his best friends. He and Henry Thrun have also spent some time together as well, so it’s more than likely he already has some chemistry with his future teammates.
He is a big-bodied “power-forward” who already has NHL strength. Despite his size, however, he is incredibly skilled. While he excelled at being a playmaker, the kid can also score goals and his shot, it’s pretty powerful and probably one of his best assets.
However, his game does not come without its flaws. He isn’t the fastest and his defensive awareness needs a little bit of work to round out his overall game. The Anaheim Ducks already know this and he is willing to work hard to improve in those areas he needs to fix.
His skillset has said to be very similar to Winnipeg Jets captain, Blake Wheeler. His former coach, however, has compared him to superstar Auston Matthews. While that may be a little bit of a reach, I’m not complaining.