The following is part one the lengthiest examination of the Ducks' stable of forwards that you will probably ever see in your life.
Corey Perry - The première right winger in our organization, Perry is (widely and rightfully) regarded as one of the best (and annoying) players in the league. As the finisher to Ryan Getzlaf's playmaker, Perry scored 50 goals during the 2010-11 season to win both the Hart and Rocket Richard trophies. (He scored a respectable 37 goals in 2011-12). Some might be frustrated that he chose to stay in North America during the lockout instead of playing in Europe, but as long as his conditioning is good, I'm not concerned that he's lost any of his talent. [Ed. Note: During the lockout, Pears worked out in Ontario with his old major-junior team, the London Knights.]
Brad Staubitz - Unlike the previous three wingers, Staubitz (or Starburns, as Jen likes to call him) has not played a single shift for the Ducks yet. He was a free agent signed during the 2012 offseason as a depth forward, and will provide an intimidation factor. [Ed. Note: Replacing George Parros at enforcer. Sad face.]
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Devante Smith-Pelly - Tapped as the bruising, physical heir apparent to Dustin Penner (remember those days?), many believe that DSP is the big body that the Twins need on the top line. He was impressive in a stint with the Ducks in the Fall of 2011 (before his broken foot derailed his season). He hasn't produced a ton of offense in Norfolk, but has stepped up in big moments.
Dan Sexton - Ah, the saga of Big Sexy continues. The Ducks acquired Sexton as a free agent in 2009, and he has bounced back and forth between the big club and the minors ever since. Some might argue that he is a career AHLer, but if he can establish himself as a playmaker with the Ducks (he had 30 assists in 71 games with the Syracuse Crunch last season), he might be able to stick with the big club. [Ed. Note: In final year of contract; will be an RFA after the season. For whatever reason (i.e. they're over him) the Ducks didn't assign Sexton to Norfolk prior to the lockout. A little over a week ago he signed an AHL pro-tryout contract with the Admirals.]
Emerson Etem - If DSP is Dustin Penner's heir, Etem is Teemu's. He will need to be prepared to take the Finnish winger's place on the second line once he retires. No pressure! Etem only has 10 points in 32 AHL games, which might be troubling considering he is a sniper. (And also considering that he was a goal/game player in his final junior season). But he puts himself in the right position to score, so the offense will come.
Ryan Lasch - A shifty playmaker, Lasch has spent time with both the Norfolk Admirals and our ECHL affiliate Fort Wayne Komets. He's a point per game player in Fort Wayne, but his offense hasn't translated to Norfolk. If Lasch is going to crack the Ducks roster, he will need to find some way to consistently generate offense at the NHL level. [Ed. Note: Played with Bobby Ryan and Cam Fowler for Team USA at World Championships. Southern California native, went to a rival high school of mine.]
Kyle Palmieri - Like Sexton, Palmieri is a talented winger who has - as of yet - failed to stick with the Ducks. He is often criticized for looking for the prettiest pass instead of making the best one, and has only scored 8 points in 28 NHL games (compare that to his 131 points in 144 games). No one expects Palmieri to be a point/game player in the NHL, but if he scored 15 goals for the Ducks in this heavily abbreviated season, I'd consider that a breakthrough.
Chris Wagner - I hope that the Ducks organization uses Wagner as a center. As I argued in my profile of him, I believe he has the potential to become an effective defensive center in the mold of Blair Betts. However, he is also versatile, and can be used on the wing.