The Anaheim Ducks came into the draft with five draft picks, none in the first round but two in the second. Bob Murray and his scouting staff went heavy on forward again, selecting two centers, a left and a right wing, and one goalie.
Here is the low-down on their selections.
Maxime Comtois: 2nd round, 50th overall
Anaheim selected another big-bodied winger with their first selection in the draft. Listed at 6’2”, 207 pounds, Comtois brings a mix of skill, size, and grind to Anaheim’s wings. He was selected 3rd overall in the QMJHL in 2015 and scored 26 goals along with 60 points in his rookie season with Victoriaville. That had him ranked fourth on Bob McKenzie’s pre-season draft rankings, but things did not go as planned during the season. He had a down year numbers wise, scoring only 22 goals and 51 points which led to him falling down the draft charts.
Being a big boy, he doesn’t have blazing speed, but once he gets moving he can move. He has the size to fight through checks and power to the net. He protects the puck along the boards, uses his size to shield the puck while skating, and has a heavy NHL worthy shot. The Ducks will be patient with Maxime and make sure he develops properly. Don’t expect to see him in the show till at least the 2019-2020 season but he has top six upside.
Antoine Morand: 2nd round, 60th overall
Morand was actually drafted second overall in the 2015 QMJHL draft, one ahead of the Ducks 50th overall selection Maxime Comtois. The two have a history together; they were linemates in Bantam AAA terrorizing any team they went up against so that is one reason they selected Morand with pick 60.
Another reason they selected Antoine was because of his slick playmaking skills. He had 36 assists and 50 points in 48 games as a rookie and last season upped the ante with 46 assists and 74 points in 67 games. He registers at 5’10”, 178 pounds so he is a little small, but the 18 year old still has lots of time to add to his frame. He has second line center potential and Bob Murray and his staff hopes he can eventually reunite with Comtois to reignite their chemistry.
Jack Badini: 3rd round, 91st overall
Badini is a product of the USHL and is committed to college hockey next season, taking his talents to Cambridge to play for Harvard. Badini broke out this season, going from 11 points in the 15-16 season to 28 goals and 42 points this past season. He also scored seven goals and 17 points in 14 games to lead all skaters during the playoffs, while also leading the Chicago Steel to their first ever Clark Cup. Jack is listed at 6 foot, 203 pounds so he has the frame to play against older college kids. He’ll look to develop his two way game but give him a couple years of college hockey he could develop into a solid checking center.
Kyle Olson: 4th round, 122nd overall
Olson is a smaller winger listed at 5-10 and only 161 pounds. He was injured his first season and only played 19 games, but managed to score 10 points. In his first full season he racked up 57 points in 72 games and moved to center when Michael Rasmussen went down with an injury so he is a versatile forward.
Olson plays a solid two-way game; he has a high hockey IQ and can create plays on his own. He doesn’t let his size get the best of him because he plays hard along the boards and always gives it 110%. If he can add some weight to his frame he could become a real Swiss army knife threat. The Ducks will let him season in the WHL for another two years while he adds some muscle and if he keeps playing smart and develops a little more offensively he will be wearing an NHL sweater in the next four years.
Olle Eriksson-Ek: 5th round, 153rd overall
Bob Murray has said he wants to start filling up the goalie cupboard again so this year they drafted Olle Eriksson-Ek out Sweden. He was playing in Sweden’s Superelit league (Sweden’s top junior league) this past season for Farjestad BK and had an astounding 2.16 GAA and .924 save percentage. He has good size (6-3) and displayed quick lateral movement during his limited action in the World Juniors this season.
Hockey is in his blood as his father won three SHL titles with Farjestad and his brother Joel is a former first rounder and one of Minnesota’s top prospects. We all know how long it takes goalies to make the jump to the show, but Olle is one guy to keep a watch on and stash on your farm teams if you have the space.
Sam Steel absolutely tore up the WHL this past season, scoring 50 goals and 131 points in 66 regular season games and adding 11 goals and 30 points in 23 games playoff games. Bob Murray said he is looking to let go of some of his older players and have his younger guys have a role with the team next season. Steel is at the top of that list with Nate Thompson being a free agent, opening up the fourth line center position. Steel has nothing left to prove in junior so he will get a long look in camp and most likely that nine game tryout, but the Ducks won’t waste his first year on his ELC and a crucial year of development on fourth line minutes.
Troy Terry had a breakout campaign as a sophomore for Denver University. Not only was Terry the shootout hero on multiple occasions during the World Juniors, he had as many goals in 16-17 as he had points in 15-16. He tallied 22 goals and 45 points in 35 games last season. He was the third player in history to win a World Junior Championship gold and NCAA title in the same season (Chris Kreider and Matt Carle were the other two). Terry has committed to his junior season at DU so the earliest we will see him in a Ducks sweater is early April so keep this shootout specialist stashed on your farm teams.
The Ducks Development Camp is June 29th to July 2nd. All of the Ducks draft selections from this season will be there, along with Max Jones, Sam Steel, Marcus Pttersson, Troy Terry, Julius Nattinen, among others. Here is the list of the camp invites
Matt Abt D
Chris Forney D
Corson Green D
Teddy Hart C/RW
Jake Kamrass LW
Alex Limoges C
Rob Michel D
Scott Moldenhauer D
Eric Robinson LW
Jack St. Ivany D
Michal Stinil LW
Jared Wilson D
Brett Stapley C/RW
Turner Ottenbreit D
Brady Lyle D
Nikita Korostelev RW
Mathieu Charlebois D
Giovanni Fiore LW
Mitch Hults C
Austin Ortega RW
Zach Saar RW
I will be tying the knot with my high school sweetheart on July 1st so I will not be able to attend developmental camp, but I will keep updates flowing when I get back from my honeymoon so make sure to check up! Follow me on Twitter for more Anaheim Ducks updates @LAM1926