Who will the Anaheim Ducks select at #3 overall?
Brad Senecal: This is definitely an oddball draft in the middle of a strong run. This year doesn’t have the same hype as 2019 and 2020, even the next two in 2022 and 2023 are projected to be strong. While there are fans that are disappointed that the team dropped to third overall I feel that after Owen Power the next few picks in the top five are pretty interchangeable.
Last year, I predicted the Anaheim Ducks picking a forward (Marco Rossi) with the 6th overall pick from knowing how top-heavy this draft was with defensemen. While they picked Jamie Drysdale instead of a forward, seeing the strong crops of forwards in the next two drafts I believe we will see Bob Murray round out the defensive unit this year. While Power would have been a great addition as a future partner for Drysdale, Simon Edvinsson is a great consolation prize.
Brant Clarke may have the most upside after Power, however, with Drysdale in tow and seeing his defensive struggles in year one, getting a complimentary partner would greatly benefit the team moving forward.
Edvinsson has a lot of the same qualities as Power, with his solid size and skating ability, making him a valuable piece for the Ducks’ future. Look for the team to continue building from the back end this year and bring in high skill forwards in the future.
Ben Thomasian: I think Beniers and Wallstedt will go 1 and 2 in some order, respectively. That leaves the Anaheim Ducks free to make a big gamble (though they will absolutely grab Beniers if he’s available for some reason).
So with that said, I think the Ducks will take a gamble on the right shooting Brandt Clarke. Murray flagged some intent to look at the defensemen in this draft in his recent end-of-season ramble. He even went as far as saying that defensemen are always desirable and able to be moved in a trade.
It’s also noteworthy that Murray is a largely uncreative manager who copies the most recent trends. The Colorado Avalanche are the league’s darling team at present, and given the way their defensemen play almost like additional forwards, I think Murray will be hard-pressed to go past another fleet-footed offensive D.
The Ducks like right shots on their back end and they like players who create and join the rush, all of which, are strengths of Clarkes. Adding another right shooter may allow them to trade away one of their current rights shots (can you say Josh Manson?) to commence the rebuild that Murray seems vaguely aware he should actually commence.
Thus… I think Brandt Clarke is their guy.
Adam Tenenbaum: I’m under the impression that if Mathew Beniers is at 3, that is who we select. If he and Power are gone by number 3, I think we select either Dylan Guenther or Simon Edvinsson. I want to say we select the forward, but given Murray’s recent comments about defenseman heavy draft, I lean slightly towards Edvinsson here.
Ciara Durant: If Bob Murray were smart, he would select one of either Dylan Guenther or William Eklund. The Ducks already have Trevor Zegras down the middle for the foreseeable future, and they have put a lot of stock in him. They also have Jamie Drysdale on the blueline, and I love the trade deadline addition of Haydn Fleury. What they really need is goal scoring, and while they drafted Jacob Perreault last year, one player isn’t going to be the end all be all.
I, personally, really like Guenther, but Eklund is another solid player the Ducks could deploy on the wing down the line. Eklund is definitely the more NHL ready of the pair and definitely more of a playmaker, but I would not be mad with that selection. Besides, who wouldn’t be stoked at the expansion of Swedenheim?
Nevertheless, knowing Murray, and how he always drafts the opposite of what I’d like, he’s going to choose Brandt Clarke or Luke Hughes. While I’d still welcome both players to Anaheim with open arms, Murray usually plays it safe with his first selection of the draft. Safe isn’t always bad, but sometimes it’s worth taking a little bit of risk.
Redan Lopez: I think it’s more a question of what than a who. My hope is that is a dynamic winger and scorer that can step in and help immediately.