August 31-in-31: Anaheim Ducks

Peter Harling

2017-08-01

Some owners are writing off Corey Perry after the worst season of his career, but at a recent season ticket holder event Bob Murray told his audience that he suffered a MCL sprain during the World Cup and played the whole season with the injury. He still finished the year with 53 points and 20 power-play points which is respectable for any NHL player, but not Perry numbers. He’ll come back to camp 100% and with the depth Anaheim has he could get back up to that 30 goal, 65 point plateau.

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Anaheim played it mellow during free agency, but had some subtle signings. First, they signed Ryan Miller to back up and mentor John Gibson. With Gibson being injury prone, look for Miller to get into 25-30 games to give Gibson rest when needed and fill in if he gets hurt. Murray also signed free agents Derek Grant and Dennis Rasmussen to one-year deals. They will provide good forward depth in Anaheim gets into injury trouble like they did in the playoffs last season, but they’ll be fourth line guys. The key signing was re-upping Patrick Eaves to a three-year deal. He clicked with Getzlaf right away and if Eaves can stay healthy look for him to get his quick release off a lot playing shotgun with Getzlaf and potentially another 30 goal season.

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TOP 10 RANKINGS

1. Sam Steel – Exploded for 131 points in 66 regular season games. He also excelled on the defensive side of the puck and does not have anything left to prove in junior. He should get a nine game look and could potentially center a line with Corey Perry and either Rickard Rakell or Nick Ritchie.

2. Max Jones – He reminds me of Nick Ritchie, but with more skill. Bob Murray says he has all the tools and the body to play in the show, but needs to mature. He doesn’t have much left to prove in juniors, but Anaheim won’t keep him around to play 4th line minutes so he will most likely spend next season in London.

3. Jacob Larsson – Started in Anaheim last season, but he needed more seasoning so Anaheim loaned him back to Sweden. He should come back over to North America this season and potentially start with Anaheim again as they already have a couple of injuries on the blue line, but will most likely spend most of this season in the AHL.

4. Ondrej Kase – Played most of the