Anaheim Ducks: Bob Murray Should Reconsider the Rebuild

Trevor Zegras reacts after being selected ninth overall by the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Trevor Zegras reacts after being selected ninth overall by the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Anaheim Ducks
TORONTO, ON – FEBRUARY 7: Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks waits for a faceoff against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on February 7, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Ducks 5-4 in overtime. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Going Into This Year

Bob Murray has done a good job of rebuilding the Ducks’ prospect pool in the past couple of drafts. Trevor Zegras, Jamie Drysdale, and Jacob Perreault should all be contributors in the near future, with the hope that they will become stars over the next few years. Players such as Benoit Oliver-Groulx, Brayden Tracey, and Sam Colangelo are apart of the next tier of prospects that also have the opportunity to become important members of the team in the coming years.

Should Bob Murray decide to build through the draft, he does have a good opportunity over the next few years. When looking at the Anaheim Ducks contract situation, there is one glaring upcoming UFA that could cause mixed opinions among Ducks fans, and that is Captain Ryan Getzlaf.

Getzlaf has been a career Duck, he is the only player to hit the 1000 game mark in team history, he currently sits 23 points behind Teemu Selanne for the most in franchise history, and he is an important member of the Orange County community, not to mention has a No-Movement Claus. But let’s look at it for what it’s worth. Getzlaf has always been a proud player, he does have a Stanley Cup but it was back in his second season, and he is still a productive player at 35 while playing for an underachieving team.

There are many teams out there that, by the time the trade deadline comes along, could look at a veteran Centerman as the missing piece to a potential cup winner. Teams such as Vegas and Colorado could see the opportunity and be willing to part ways with futures for Getzlaf’s services. Due to the flat cap caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, teams will be trying to make these moves while staying under the salary threshold, and while the Anaheim Ducks are tight to the cap themselves, the team could still retain much of Getzlaf’s salary in order to sweeten the deal.

Other than Getzlaf, the only expiring UFA deals the Ducks will have at the end of this season is David Backes and Carter Rowney. While I do not believe many teams, especially with the flat cap, would be willing to bring in Backes based on his remaining contract, Rowney could be a player that a team would be willing to flip a later round pick for to bolster their playoff depth with a veteran piece, much like the Flyers with Derek Grant last year.

The 2021 NHL Draft features many intriguing prospects. Forwards include Aatu Raty, Dylan Guenther, and Zachary Bolduc, among others. However, the depth of defense really stands out with players such as Owen Power, Brandt Clarke, Carson Lambos, and Simon Edvinsson are all players that the Anaheim Ducks could bolster their core by selecting next year. If the team were to acquire another first-round pick, along with bottom teams such as Buffalo, New Jersey, and Los Angeles getting better, the Ducks would get the opportunity to have another solid draft focused on the rebuild.