Anaheim’s prospect pool isn’t as deep as it has been the last couple of years, but that is because most of them have graduated and are currently playing full time in the show. Anaheim’s major strength for the last eight years has been drafting quality puck moving defenseman, take a look at this list: Larsson (2015), Montour (2014), Theodore (2013), Lindholm (2012), Manson (2011), Fowler (2010), Vatanen (2009), Gardiner and Schultz (2008). Their goaltending is set with Gibson set up for the future, with Garrett Metcalf and college signee Kevin Boyle in the pipeline. Their forward pool has been a little dry the last couple of seasons, but that is why they spent five of their six draft picks this summer on forwards. Headlined by Nick Ritchie, Anaheim has a good number of forwards from the last two drafts that have top six NHL potential (Max Jones, Sam Steel, Julius Nattinen, Deven Sideroff).
Top Ten Rankings
- Shea Theodore – Theodore is ready for full time duties in the show, Anaheim is just clogged up with NHL defenseman. He will be full time by December.
- Max Jones – He will be one of the leaders in London this season, grab him while you still can.
- Nick Ritchie – Training is an issue, but he is still young enough to put all his tools together.
- Brandon Montour – Another mobile puck mover in the making. Will be the man on the PP once Theodore gets moved up full time.
- Kalle Kossila – Will be playing his first full pro season this year, will be a solid center to move up and down the line up.
- Julius Nattinen – His first season in North America went as well as it could, watch him blossom as he gets more adjusted to life over here. Potential 2nd line center.
- Kevin Boyle – Another recent college signee, Boyle could have the starting gig in San Diego by the new year.
- Sam Steel – Will go back to junior this year, but has the pedigree to be a strong two-way forward in the show.
- Stefan Noesen – Anaheim needs wingers and he had a decent season last season. If he can impress in camp, peg him as a major sleeper for top six minutes this season.
- Nick Sorensen – Much like Noesen, if he can impress in camp, he will start with the big club and could play 14-16 minutes a night.
On The Rise
Nick Sorensen RW- After a lack luster 14-15, Sorensen had 23 points in 37 SHL games. Sorensen is returning to North America and with his superb abilities in his own zone, I think Carlyle will give him a long look in training camp. Not to mention the fact the Ducks need wingers, watch for this dark horse to make the team.
Deven Sideroff RW- Sideroff impressed at the prospect camp with his speed and tremendous shot. He will move to San Diego this season, keep tabs on how his season develops.
Kevin Boyle G – Boyle signed with the Ducks this offseason and will start the year in San Diego. He will start as the back up, but with his poise in net and positioning, he will overtake Matt Hackett by the turn of the calendar.
Nick Ritchie– As I commented after watching the development camp, Ritchie looked bigger, but he also looked like he had not worn a pair of skates since the Gulls got swept by the Reign. Hopefully he starting training and will be back in shape for training camp.
Nic Kerdiles– After having two successful seasons in the NCAA, Kerdiles’ first two seasons as a pro have been injury riddled and it seems he can’t really translate his offense to the pro level.
Julius Nattinen– The Barrie Colts traded the 19-year-old center this summer because he wasn’t happy in Barrie. Hopefully it was only the location, as this was his first year in North America, and not an attitude problem. Keep tabs on how he starts with Windsor.
If you missed the July Anaheim 30 in 30 you can find it here