Thursday, June 10, 2010

12th - Anaheim Ducks draft preview

I haven't been much of a fan of the various Ducks uniforms since their inception but in my opinion, the best one they unveiled was the purple/black/grey version. It's the only one that didn't have some sort of Duck motif; no webbed foot, no duck bill but it looked like a hockey sweater as opposed to the current jersey.

1st pick last year: Peter Holland (15th overall) - TPS considered Holland the safe pick out of last year’s draft. The centre has decent size at 6'2, 195 lbs and has shown a scoring touch with 58 goals through 2 years with Guelph. Holland does a lot of things really well and could be a top-6 forward adding size down the middle for the Ducks if he keeps developing. He's also an above average face off man.

The Good: Bobby Ryan (2nd overall, 2005) - While it might have taken him a while to arrive, Bobby Ryan is starting to justify why he was taken right after Sidney Crosby in 2005. Back to back +30-goal seasons from the power forward has made the Cherry Hill, New Jersey product one of the best up and coming American players in the NHL.

The Bad: Logan MacMillan (19th overall, 2007) - I never understood why MacMillan went as high as he did in his draft year. He did score 20 goals that season, but then scored just 24 in the next 2 years. He turned pro this past year but he spent most of it in the ECHL where he had just 6 points in 30 games.

The Unknown: Mark Mitera (19th overall, 2006) - Mitera spent 4 years at Michigan but only played 8 games in one of them because of injury. So far he hasn’t been able to make much of an impact since turning pro. He’s played for 3 different AHL teams and spent 36 games in the ECHL, while never skating in the NHL once.

Coming Down the Pipe: The Ducks do have some interesting players on the way, especially on the blueline. Luca Sbisa should see a full year in the NHL next season and Brendon Mikkelson must take a step forward at camp. Kyle Palmieri and Jake Gardiner are both seasoning in NCAA play, while Matt Beleskey and Brandon McMillan will be main stays in the AHL next year. In net Igor Bobkov is a intriguing prospect, if he comes to North American next year.

Draft Trends: For the past 5 years Anaheim has alternated between taking a forward and defenceman in the first round. They have stayed away from the WHL in round one since grabbing Ryan Getzlaf in 2003.

2010 Prediction:

Dean Millard: Dylan McIlrath (Moose Jaw) - The Ducks don’t have Chris Pronger anymore, but in McIlrath they get a guy who might end up being tougher. While the 6'4, 215 lb bruising blueliner won’t develop Pronger’s offence or skating ability, a lot of scouts think he does have some untapped offensive potential. The Ducks could use some beef on the blueline. (Photo: Moose Jaw Warriors)

Guy Flaming: Emerson Etem (Medicine Hat) - I know... you're rolling your eyes because I'm predicting the California team will take the California kid. Forget that, I've been told by enough scouts that the fast skating sniper from the Medicine Hat Tigers could be a top 10 pick so this isn't about Anaheim reaching for a local guy - it really might be Best Player Available here. Etem scored 37 goals and 65 points as a 17-year-old rookie and at 6' and 195 lbs, this is a guy who has wrongly been overlooked as the draft has gotten closer.

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