The Anaheim Ducks shock and select Beckett Sennecke at third overall

Going into the 2024 NHL draft very few people saw Beckett Sennecke going as high as third overall. His draft stock skyrocketted in the second half of the season, but it was rare to see a mock draft with Sennecke inside the top ten. What was Anaheim's reasons for choosing him so high, and how can he contribute to the team in the future?
Beckett Sennecke Drafted Third Overall By The Anaheim Ducks
Beckett Sennecke Drafted Third Overall By The Anaheim Ducks / Candice Ward/GettyImages

The Anaheim Ducks shocked many at the NHL Draft and selected Beckett Sennecke with their third overall pick. The reaction from fans and Beckett himself showed how surprising this pick was. A few looks at pre-draft rankings and opinions from scouts may lead you to believe the Ducks reached for this player, but when you examine the bigger picture of Beckett Sennecke’s development and the player he is becoming, you’ll be able to see why Pat Verbeek pulled the trigger.

 In this article, we will look at the reason why the Ducks took a swing at Sennecke and his long-term fit with the Ducks. 

Betting on Beckett

The hype around Sennecke started near the end of the OHL season and into the playoffs. In the last ten games of the season, Sennecke put up 18 points in 10 games (6 goals +12 assists) to roll into the playoffs, where he put up 22 points in 16 games (10 goals +12 assists). Sennecke's postseason was cut short after he suffered a concussion, but his impressive finish was enough to catch the attention of many teams across the league. ,

The excitement for this player is not just because of his amazing end of the year, it is also because of his growth spurt over the last 12 months. When Sennecke entered his first season playing in the OHL he was listed at 5’ 10”. He had a decent season scoring at a 0.9 points per game pace. Then entering this past season, Beckett jumped up to 6’ 3”, a huge amount of growth for a player who was already a future NHLer. 

As you can imagine gaining that much height but trying to still play the same style of hockey is a challenge. Sennecke is about as raw of a prospect as it comes because he’s had less than a year of playing hockey with his extra height. His improvement throughout the year can be attributed to him starting to get more comfortable with his size and realizing his potential. This is the key to why the Anaheim Ducks drafted Sennecke.

Matt Weller from interviewed Martin Madden and got some thoughts from the Assistant General Manager.

" “Other players in this draft are closer than him to playing and having a role in the NHL. He's not there physically yet, but ultimately, when he's part of our group, he's going to be an impact player. That's why we took him.”"

Martin Madden

This shows why Anaheim passed on other forwards like Lindstrom or Demidov, even though they showed more talent this last year. Anaheim is looking at the projection and sees Sennecke as someone who has only begun to show the talent he can bring. We can expect Sennecke to make another huge improvement next year as he will come into another season of junior even more confident with his size.

Drafting players is always a gamble, they are young and you have to guess and project how they will pan out. It is fair to question if Sennecke was the best player available, but in seeing the Ducks' thought process for this pick it is clear why they preferred him over the other prospects. The Ducks are already full of young offensive talent, so they can afford to take a big swing at a player who has a lot of untapped upside.

Fit with the Anaheim Ducks

Pat Verbeek is building a core forward group that is going to be high-skill, high-speed, and high-physicality. Beckett Sennecke fits with this group perfectly. He is the “last piece” to a young top six that features Carlsson and McTavish as centermen, Zegras and Terry on the left, and Gauthier with himself on the right. 

After being drafted, Sennecke was asked to describe his play style. This was his response per The Hockey News Reporter Derek Lee:

"Bigger skilled forward who likes to use his size, deception, and creativity, to create time and space for myself and my teammates. I wouldn’t say I’m a playmaker or a goal scorer I think I’m equal parts."

Beckett Sennecke

From watching some highlights of his it is clear he has excellent hands and dangling ability. In a handful of clips, he is undressing the entire defence of a team before scoring a goal. Beyond just his hands, he has a great shot and is an excellent skater. He is a multidimensional offensive threat who continually keeps defenders on their toes and is a threat to snipe or make an amazing pass.

Having a large offensive toolbelt as a winger is a very good trait as it takes the pressure off the centerman to always be driving the play. As a winger, Sennecke is always looking to find soft spots in the middle of the ice where he can be as big a threat as possible. 

In Verbeek’s post draft interview, also from Derek Lee, he mentions the excitement for Sennecke is because he can play any type of game needed. The skill game, the speed game, and the physical game are all things Sennecke brings to the table. Whatever the coach needs Sennecke will have the skill set to do it. Sennecke is a very versatile player who can contribute to the team even if he isn't scoring every night.


The verdict on if Anaheim made the right call on drafting Sennecke will have to be settled in a couple of years once Beckett touches NHL ice. For now, we can look forward to watching him grow in his next year of junior hockey in Ontario. This would not be the first time the Ducks' "reached" for an OHL player. Mason McTavish was also selected third overall when most people had him later in the top ten. If the Ducks can develop Sennecke in a similar way they will be getting an absolute star who will be a top Ducks talent for many years to come.