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Anaheim's all-time draft team: What a great start with Kariya

This is the first in a series of looks at all-draft teams by franchise. All-star 20-man lineups are based on entire NHL body of work from the list of players each franchise has drafted
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The first player the Anaheim Ducks ever drafted is in the Hall of Fame. Paul Kariya went fourth overall in 1993 (behind Alexandre Daigle, Chris Pronger and Chris Gratton) and is at the head of the class on the franchise's all-time draft squad.

Anaheim's lineup looks like a well-balanced squad with a high-octane first line, and a very deep middle six for secondary scoring. Even the Anaheim all-time draft team's fourth line consists of a solid cast of checkers and specialists, namely Chad Kilger, Bates Battaglia and PA Parenteau.

Anaheim's second and third centers are probably best flopped for where they deserve to be in a typical lineup. William Karlsson is a premier offensive second-line center, while Matt Cullen is best suited to the third line. But Cullen's sheer numbers in the NHL slot him second on the Ducks all-time draft team for now. We anticipate that changing in the years to come.

The Anaheim defense doesn't have any superstars in the lineup – Scott Niedermayer and Pronger were drafted by other teams – but it is balanced and interchangeable depending upon your perspective. Cam Fowler has ascended to No. 1 recently despite fewer games than others in the top four. He's played heavy minutes and in key situations almost since arriving in 2010. Just missing out of the Anaheim top six are three active blueliners. Do this list again in a decade and you might see all of Shea Theodore, Josh Manson and Sami Vatanen within the top six.

Interesting situation in the crease. Ilya Bryzgalov is No. 1 now based on some outstanding seasons during a 10-year NHL career. He was runner-up for the Vezina with Arizona a decade ago and sixth in top-goalie voting a year later. But Frederik Andersen has received some Vezina vote attention two of his seven seasons and John Gibson has as well in two of his six seasons. So don't be surprised if Andersen and Gibson pass Bryzgalov and are 1-2 on this list five years from now.

Information includes draft year, draft position, amateur team and NHL stats (games-goals-assists-points; W-L-OTL, GAA, SP)

CENTER

Ryan Getzlaf – 2003, 19th overall, Calgary (WHL) (1,053-274-691-965)

Matt Cullen – 1996, 35th overall, St. Cloud (WCHA) (1,516-266-465-731)

William Karlsson – 2011, 53rd overall, Vasteras (Swe.) (410-100-130-230)

Chad Kilger – 1995, 4th overall, Kingston (OHL) (714-107-111-218)

LEFT WING

Paul Kariya – 1993, 4th overall, Maine (HE) (989-402-587-989)

Joffrey Lupul – 2002, 7th overall, Medicine Hat (WHL) (701-205-215-420)

Rickard Rakell – 2011, 30th overall, Plymouth (OHL) (447-129-154-282)

Bates Battaglia – 1994, 132nd overall, Caledon (Jr.A) (580-80-118-198)

RIGHT WING

Corey Perry – 2003, 28th overall, London (OHL) (1,045-377-420-797)

Bobby Ryan – 2005, 2nd overall, Owen Sound (OHL) (833-254-301-555)

Kyle Palmieri – 2009, 26th overall, USA NTDP (561-175-163-338)

PA Parenteau – 2001, 264th overall, Chicoutimi (QMJHL) (491-114-182-296)

DEFENSE

Cam Fowler – 2010, 12th overall, Windsor (OHL) (679-67-234-301)

Oleg Tverdovsky – 1994, 2nd overall, Soviet Wings (Rus.) (713-77-240-317)

Ruslan Salei – 1996, 9th overall, Las Vegas (IHL) (917-45-159-204)

Jordan Leopold – 1999, 44th overall, Minnesota (WCHA) (695-67-147-214)

Hampus Lindholm – 2012, 6th overall, Rogle (Swe.) (502-50-143-193)

Jake Gardiner – 2008, 17th overall, Minnetonka (USHS) (619-49-220-269)

GOALIES

Ilya Bryzgalov – 2000, 44th overall, Togliatti (Rus.) (221-162-54, 2.58, .912)

Frederik Andersen – 2012, 87th overall, Frolunda (Swe.) (213-92-45, 2.63, .917)

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