Today is the day. We’ve been waiting for this moment since the Anaheim Ducks season ended. With the third overall selection in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, Bob Murray has the chance to shake things up and make a big move that could set this franchise in the right direction for a dire rebuild.
He can no longer avoid it and bring in veteran help, hoping that it’s a quick fix only to find out it’s just slapping a band-aid on an open wound. Building through the draft is a sure-fire way to move things along smoothly.
While this year’s draft may not be considered as strong as the past few and the two proceeding it, there are still a few gems Bob Murray has the option of drafting that could be key cogs in a future cup contending team.
What You Need to Know About the 2021 NHL Entry Draft
Date: July 23, 2021-July 24 2021
Time: 5 pm PT/8 pm ET and 8 am PT/11 am ET
Location: NHL Network studios in Secaucus, New Jersey
TV: ESPN2 (Friday), NHLN (Saturday)
3 Players the Anaheim Ducks Could Potentially Draft Third Overall
The Anaheim Ducks are in a prime position to draft a great player in this year’s draft. However, the player they decide to go with all depends on where Bob Murray thinks their biggest needs lie. Having Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale in the system should make his choice a lot easier.
For the sake of this exercise, we are going to leave out Owen Power and Matthew Beniers, seeing as how they are projected to go first and second overall. Things could change in that regard, and if so, the Anaheim Ducks have first dibs. I, however, am of the opinion that Bob Murray should look for talent elsewhere in the draft.
Luke Hughes: 17-year-old Luke Hughes is cut from the same cloth as his older brother, Quinn Hughes. While his pedigree speaks for him, he has become a standout player in his own right. He is praised as an offensively-minded defenseman who has taken great strides to improve his game.
He is a strong skater who is also very effective with the puck. He plays more of an agressive style of hockey, and he can get away with it while using his 6’2” frame. This helps him protect the puck when dealing with pressure from the opposing team.
He has established himself as a power-play quarterback and is also a very reliable option for the penalty kill as well. Overall, with the skills he currently has, and if he commits to his development, he has the potential to be a well round two way defenseman. And as one of the youngest players in this draft, he has plenty of time to work out the kinks in his game and become the best defenseman of this draft.
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Dylan Guenther: I have been singing the praises of Dylan Guenther since the moment I wrote a draft profile on him. With the Anaheim Ducks drafting a creative playmaker in Trevor Zegras and a dynamic defenseman in Jamie Drysdale in the last two drafts respectably, they need to start looking for a player who can put pucks in the back of the net. While Jacob Perreult can certinally help fill that void, they can’t rely on one player to get it done.
Guenther has been praised by experts as an explosive goal scorer. He, like Hughes, is a very skilled skater who has incredible speed and acceleration. He has crafty hands, sound positioning, and is a very deceptive player. Granted, at 18-years-old, he still has holes in his game, most of them defensive. Nevertheless, the way his game is developing, he is growing into a skilled two-way player who can still bring the grit Bob Murray loves.
William Eklund: William Eklund seems to be a fan favorite going into the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, and there is no shortage of reasons why. Eklund is as dedicated as they come. Never taking a shift off, he prides himself in being that glue guy. He is an undenyably creative player and if drafted by the Anaheim Ducks, is a guy they could use as both a pass or shoot option.
Eklund plays a fearless game, and navigates the ice almost flawlessly. He plays a strong two-way game and has great skill, speed, hockey sense, and a strong work ethic. Of all the SHL prospects in this year’s draft, he is hailed by experts to be one of the top Swedish players of the draft. There is a reason he earned SHL rookie of the year, his stats making him the top scoring 18-year-old forward in the league’s history.
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