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Future Watch – Anaheim Ducks: Out with the old...

…in with the new. As the Ducks say goodbye to staples up front, they’ll immediately welcome the next wave.

B- / 21st overall

It’s not as if the Ducks didn’t foresee the day when they would no longer be an elite team. They knew this time was coming. Though it’s been a shock to the system to see it happen so suddenly, they’ve prepared for it – and, in many ways, they’ve embraced it. The core group of 33-year-olds Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and 34-year-old Ryan Kesler will be replaced within two to three seasons, if not sooner, by a wave of skilled forwards. We’ve already seen a few of them this season. Anaheim has stockpiled talent at the forward spots to one day join its current crop of young defensemen.

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1. Troy Terry (14th overall)
RW, 21, 6-1, 178 – San Diego (AHL)
41–16–25–41–4
2015 draft, 148th overall
Terry started the season with the injury-depleted Ducks after making two appearances in 2017-18 following a standout career at NCAA Denver. He went scoreless in six games before being sent to the AHL to regain confidence. That’s when he lit it up and emerged as one of the league’s premier offensive players. There’s no debate about his skill with the puck, but he can be neutralized too easily when things get physical. The Ducks want him to bulk up and believe he will as he matures.
FW18| No. 3 NHL | 2019-20

2. Sam Steel (33rd overall)
LW, 21, 5-11, 186 – San Diego (AHL)
45–17–17–34–22
2016 draft, 30th overall
Steel made the opening-night NHL roster after a string of injuries left the Ducks scrambling. He showed the skills and creativity Anaheim covets as it transitions from one of the NHL’s last slow and heavy teams into a faster, more dynamic club. After 14 games, the Ducks assigned him to San Diego, and he’s shown growth as a playmaker on a team with plenty of scorers. His lack of size doesn’t bother the Ducks, who believe he fits into their younger, faster model for the future.
FW18| No. 1 NHL | 2019-20

3. Isac Lundestrom (46th overall)
C, 19, 6-0, 187 – Lulea (Swe.)
15–1–7–8–0
2018 draft, 23rd overall
Lundestrom was ticketed for Sweden to start the year, but his excellent skating and playmaking during the Rookie Faceoff in Las Vegas and in training camp earned him a spot on Anaheim’s opening-night roster. He didn’t look out of place in 15 games with the Ducks and 12 more with San Diego but was returned to Lulea to continue his apprenticeship. The Ducks love his skating, passing and two-way game but wish he shot more. They’d also like him to bulk up and win more 1-on-1 battles.
FW18| n/a NHL | 2020-21

4. Maxime Comtois (63rd overall)
LW, 20, 6-2, 207 – Drummondville (QMJHL)
19–24–15–39–24
2017 draft, 50th overall
Comtois scored his first NHL goal five seconds into his first shift on opening night. He then scored his first AHL goal minutes into his debut with San Diego. The Ducks like his size, speed and ability to get into scoring areas. They returned him to junior, hoping he’d continue to mature. Then came a mixed showing as captain of Canada’s disappointing entry at the WJC, where he scored five goals. Afterward, the Ducks announced he had played with a shoulder injury and needed time off.
FW18| No. 5 NHL | 2020-21

5.Max Jones (92nd overall)
LW, 21, 6-3, 220 – San Diego (AHL)
40–14–14–28–48
2016 draft, 24th overall
Despite a hand/thumb injury sustained in prospect camp that sidelined Jones for the Ducks’ main camp and start of the AHL season, he produced as expected upon returning to the lineup. It would be enough to have his size and strength, but he mixes those attributes with strong skating and a nose for the action. Staying healthy is big goal considering Jones plays a physical game. He teamed with Terry to form an effective line with the Gulls. They played together in the NHL after a January recall, too.
FW18| No. 4 NHL | 2019-20

6. Brendan Guhle
D, 21, 6-2, 196 – Rochester (AHL)
50–5–22–27–34
Trade (Buf), Feb. 24, 2019
Showing better puck management and decision-making. Defensive play also improving.

7. Josh Mahura
D, 20, 6-0, 192 – San Diego (AHL)
32–1–15–16–10
2016 draft, 85th overall
Mahura’s skating and passing abilities earned him an extended NHL look.

8. Lukas Dostal
G, 18, 6-2, 166 – Trebic (Cze.2)
GP 24, 2.50, .915
2018 draft, 85th overall
Plays structurally sound game. Opened eyes at WJC. Loaned to Finnish League.

9. Benoit-Olivier Groulx
C, 19, 6-2, 194 – Halifax (QMJHL)
59–28–40–68–52
2018 draft, 54th overall
Big, strong and skilled is better than small and skilled any day.

10. Blake McLaughlin
LW, 19, 6-0, 160 – Minnesota (Big Ten)
32–4–15–19–36
2018 draft, 79th overall
Hard worker who has excelled while playing on an all-freshman line.

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