The Anaheim Ducks qualified for the playoffs for the sixth consecutive year, but were bounced in the first round for third time during that span.
The Ducks managed to get 100-plus points for the fifth straight year, but will still own their highest draft pick since 2014—No.27 in ’15, No.24 in ’16 and No.50 in ’17.
Anaheim has built one of the strongest bluelines in the NHL and the majority of their core is signed long-term. They also have one of the best netminders in the league and an impressive stable of prospects, led by Sam Steel. The 2016 No.30 overall pick wasn’t able to re-create his 131-point season from 2017, but still finished 11th in the WHL in points-per-game (1.54)—33 goals, 50 assists (83 points) in 54 games.
On the blueline, Brandon Montour quickly rose through the ranks and the Ducks will be hoping that Jacob Larsson (No.27 in 2015) can follow the same path. The 21-year-old defenseman had three goals and 13 assists (16 points) in 50 games with the San Diego Gulls (AHL) last year.
With the No.23 Overall Pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, the Anaheim Ducks select…
Vitali Kravtsov — RW — Russia ????????
The Ducks may be getting a steal with this 18-year-old Russian winger. Kravtsov has been ranked as high as No.6 on some scout’s lists, but the Russian factor is always something to take into consideration.
During his first full season in the KHL, Kravtsov scored four goals with three assists (seven points) in 35 games with Chelyabinsk Traktor. He also went on to compile 11 points (6G / 5A) in just 16 KHL playoff games.
Kravtsov has the ability to quickly become a top-6 NHL winger. He has good size (6-foot-2 / 183 lbs.) and combines it with a strong two-way game. The Ducks like their forwards to be defensively responsible and Kravtsov brings that to the table along with his high-end skill and speed.
“A big, skilled winger that can play up and down the lineup and provide scoring in a number of roles. He brings grit and physical size, but could be more assertive in throwing his weight around more. Displays excellent speed on the rush and in zone entry, but could backcheck quicker. Plays well in his own end and takes away lanes. Very good hands and awareness. Kravtsov has the potential to develop into a staple top six forward that can produce at the next level.” — Elite Prospects
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