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Top 50 players in the NHL… we are a lackin’!

Sheer boredom will get the best of us. The top 50 players according to The Hockey News is simply a snap shot of what players have accomplished the previous year. Although it may be a quick review, compiling a few years can reveal a trend, both good and bad. Since our counterpart, the Kings, have won the Stanley Cup this past season, then I would like to compare us, the Ducks, to them, the Kings. Let’s discover any relevancy in this small sample of three years.

The Hockey News

Top 50 Rankings

2010 – 2012

Focus: Ducks v Kings

Year

Rank

Team

Player

Home Grown

Year Drafted

2010

14th

Kings

Drew Doughty

Y

2008

21st

Kings

Anze Kopitar

Y

2005

29th

Ducks

Ryan Getzlaf

Y

2003

44th

Ducks

Corey Perry

Y

2003

2011

19th

Ducks

Corey Perry

Y

2003

23rd

Kings

Drew Doughty

Y

2008

25th

Ducks

Ryan Getzlaf

Y

2003

30th

Kings

Anze Kopitar

Y

2005

42nd

Kings

Mike Richards

N

45th

Ducks

Teemu Selanne

N

2012

5th

Kings

Jonathan Quick

Y

2005

6th

Kings

Drew Doughty

Y

2008

8th

Kings

Anze Kopitar

Y

2005

28th

Kings

Dustin Brown

Y

2003

30th

Ducks

Corey Perry

Y

2003

There have been talks that the Ducks need to emulate the Kings as they have made their run to the playoffs and earned themselves a championship cup. A numerous amount of talk focused on acquiring quality free agent to bolster the lineup; all the while commentating that the Ducks’ youth should be traded away to win now. Despite the formula had been done previously with our own championship team, most fans tend to live in the now. (Yes, even though the championship run was not that long ago.)

For all the clamoring of acquiring free agents to build and grow your franchise around, the Kings’ championship roster boasts four players in the top 50. All of whom are home grown players. Those players drafted span from 2003 to 2008. The Ducks are able to boast the usual suspects of Perry and Getzlaf from the 2003 draft, but none since. Bobby Ryan, one of the Ducks’ prolific scorers, is not mentioned once in the past three years. Former King Jack Johnson was not mentioned either.

Now, there may be a bias to have four Kings players in the top 50, but they did win the Stanley Cup. The span of time those players were drafted has to make one wonder about why haven’t the Ducks produce another player to breach the top 50 from any other year than 2003.

Aside from Bobby Ryan, a 2005 draft alum, the only home grown in the NHL that has a chance to crack the top 50 is 2010 draftee Cam Fowler. Not to worry, though, because the Ducks have a slew of prospects chomping at the bit to make the NHL with a big splash. We have scoring machines in RW Kyle Palmieri (2009) and RW Emerson Etem (2010) along with great potential in offensive defenseman Sami Vatanen (2009).

This quick review does pose a question as to what happened between 2003 and 2009 to not have much talent shine through. Granted, you have to be really good to break the top 50 rank, but the organization seemed to be stagnant about producing top players.

Patience is what we fans need to have as our crop of ducklings are slowly making their way to prominence. With Bruce Boudreau on board with two young defensemen in Cam Fowler and Luca Sbisa, the skies are the limit for these two as Bruce did help produce Mike Green. 2009 draftees are on the verge of their NHL debut. Since 2009, the Ducks have been drafting well enough for The Hockey News’ 2012 prospect ranking to earn an A-; ranking 3rd overall out of 30 teams.

2012 THN Yearbook (August)

Rank

Pos

Player

Age

1

D

Hampus Lindholm* (NR)

18

2

RW/C

Rickard Rakell (2)

19

3

RW

Kyle Palmieri (3)

21

4

LW

Nicolas Kerdiles* (NR)

18

5

RW

Emerson Etem (5)

20

6

D

Sami Vatanen (4)

21

7

G

John Gibson (6)

19

8

C

Peter Holland (7)

21

9

C

William Karlsson (9)

19

10

LW

Max Friberg (10)

19

* 2012 Draft Pick

Lost to FA: D Justin Schultz

And here’s a table from 2010 to show Cam Fowler and Luca Sbisa on a prospect list.

2010 THN Yearbook (August)

Rank

Pos

Player

Age

1

D

Luca Sbisa

20

2

D

Cam Fowler*

18

3

RW

Kyle Palmieri

19

4

C

Peter Holland

19

5

D

Jake Gardiner

20

6

RW

Emerson Etem*

18

7

C

Nic Deschamps

20

8

C

Nick Bonino

22

9

LW

Brandon McMillan

20

10

G

Igor Bobkov

19

* 2010 Draft Pick

So if the Ducks’ organization can keep this trend of drafting quality players, then maybe the Ducks can be perennial championship contenders in the short years to come. That’s what the Kings did and still are doing as they were able to trade away home grown players Schenn, Simmonds, and, to an extent, Jack Johnson to help compliment their core. The Ducks are lacking established players to be trading away prospects right now, ahem – the barren years between 2003 and 2009 are probably the reason for that.

This article is user-generated. It does not necessarily reflect the views of Anaheim Calling. Please do not link this article as representative of Anaheim Calling content or viewpoints . . . unless it's <em>really</em> really good.

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