Thanks for joining us for our August 31-in-31 series! Every day this month we will be taking a look at each team and diving into their prospect depth charts, risers and fallers, graduating prospects, and top ten prospects in the system.
After fighting through over 300+ man games lost to injury last season to finish second in the Pacific, Anaheim was swept in the first round by their upstate rivals. Their lack of speed was evident in the short series against San Jose, and Bob Murray made it clear he is looking for a big shake up, but nothing major has happened… yet. Jeff Skinner and Max Pacioretty are still available on the market and I believe the Ducks are in on one of those wingers.
If one of those wingers doesn’t land in Anaheim, look for an influx of youth to make their debuts next season and try and stay with the big club. Max Jones and Sam Steel are both turning pro, Troy Terry signed his entry level contract at the end of the season, and 2017 draftees Maxime Comtois and Antoine Morand had very strong junior seasons and will be coming in with tons of confidence to try and make the big club.
Chase De Leo
Still RFAs: Ondrej Kase, Nick Ritchie
Anaheim’s top nine stayed in tact over the summer so the only real spots that are open are on the 4th line. Carter Rowney and Brian Gibbons should take two of those spots (Gibbons had some chemistry with Adam Henrique, posting 11 goals and 15 points in 24 games before Henrique was traded, so keep tabs on Gibbons) and I think the third spot could go to Joseph Blandisi or Anton Rodin. Blandisi played well in Anaheim for three games after he was traded there, but injured players started to return and he was sent down. He provides good energy, is responsible in his own end, and is a pest out there. He reminds me of Matt Beleskey when he was moving up in the organization. Rodin’s career has be derailed by injuries and he is only 27 years old, but don’t expect him in a top six role. Guys like Terry, Jones, and Steel are not suited for the 4th line, so they will get called up when someone gets hurt.
Anaheim’s defense cupboard is filled to the brim, but unfortunately Murray signed two veterans in Andrej Sustr and Luke Schenn. Guys like Marcus Pettersson and Andy Welinski filled in admirably last season, and Jacob Larsson