In 2018-19, the Anaheim Ducks missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2011-12 season. As a result, Anaheim will select in the top-10 for the first time since 2014, when they took Nick Ritchie.
The Ducks were once a factory for developing defensemen but they have lost Shea Theodore, Marcus Pettersson, and Brandon Montour in recent years and lack D-prospects for the first time in a long time. Top-end blueliners are scarce at the top of this draft, so the Ducks will likely look to add to their forward group with the No.9 overall pick and add a defenseman with the No.29 pick (via Buffalo) or No.39 pick.
Anaheim’s core group of forwards is getting up there in age. Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry broke into the league together but are both 34-years-old and it looks like a trade or buyout is in Perry’s future. Ryan Kesler’s, 34, career is in jeopardy and both Adam Henrique, 29, and Jakob Silfverberg, 28, aren’t getting any younger. Luckily, the Ducks have a plethora of young forward prospects, however, none of them are regarded as elite prospects.
- 2015: Troy Terry (RW-No.148 Pick)
- 2016: Max Jones (LW-No.24 Pick)
- 2016: Sam Steel (C-No.30 Pick)
- 2017: Maxime Comtois (LW-No.50 Pick)
- 2017: Antoine Morand (C-No.60 Pick)
- 2018: Isac Lundestrom (C-No.23 Pick)
This is the future of the Ducks, but the No.9 overall pick gives them the opportunity to potentially add a future No.1 centre.
With the No.9 Overall Pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, the Anaheim Ducks select…
Trevor Zegras — C — United States 🇺🇸
Zegras’ playmaking ability is off the charts good. When you watch his highlights tape below you will be blown away by the amount of spinning back-hand assists he had this year. Zegras has elite hockey IQ, vision and playmaking ability that will make him a top-10 pick this month. Zegras projects to be a future top-line pick and top power-play quarterback.
The Boston University commit has good hands and some goal-scoring ability, but he makes his bread by picking up assists in bunches. Zegras had 26 goals and 61 assists (87 points) in 60 games on the USNTDP. That point total was good for third on the team, behind Jack Hughes and Cole Caufield, who he played with at points this season. The production isn’t elite but his highlight reel is and that’s what has scouts excited about Zegras.
Even Hughes had high praise for Zegras’ skill-level: “He’s the most creative player on our team. He thinks outside the box, he’s really smart and super crafty with his hands and movements. He’s really slippery. He’s an easy guy to play with knowing he’ll always give you great passes.”
As Getzlaf enters the prime of his career, Zegras looks like a seamless fit to replace the Ducks’ captain in a few years. Getzlaf has averaged 55 assists per 82 games through his career and that’s the kind of production that Zegras is trending towards.
Teams looking to draft Zegras are not picking a guy hoping to get an elite burner like Hughes or Alex Turcotte, who is going to run over guys on his way to the net. You are drafting Zegras with the intention of finding your first power play unit QB for the next decade. He is going to be the player who will get the puck to his team’s goal-scorers. Zegras projects as a first-line forward at the NHL level, whether at center or on the wing, who will be an elite presence on the power play. — Corey Pronman (The Athletic)
NTDP coach John Wroblewski said Zegras might have been the best passer on the U-18 team this season. At 6-0, 169, he needs to get stronger, but his offensive talent and ability to excel in the middle or on the wing makes him a desirable prospect. — Adam Kimelman (NHL.com)
- #5 — HockeyProspect.com
- #8 — Future Considerations
- #10 — ISS Hockey
- #6 — NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
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