Road To The Regular Season: Center Preview

Don't bite the ref, Getz! - Grant Halverson

Who says the Ducks don't have depth down the middle? Well, a lot of people do but that's beside the point. Here's Ducks centers at the NHL and AHL level.


Ryan Getzlaf

#15 / Center / Anaheim Ducks

6-4

221

May 10, 1985


2013 Stats: 44 GP, 15-34-49, 20:11 TOI/G, 44 PIM, Led the team in Points and Goals in both the regular season and playoffs, as well as assists in the regular season. Back to beat mode.

Last Year’s Grade: SK gave the captain an A-

It will be very interesting to see how Getzy reacts to his eight year $66 million contract kicking in after having one of the best (per game) seasons of his career. 2013 was a huge bounce back season for Getzy, after putting up numbers only slightly better than his rookie year in 2012 (0.69 points/game vs. 0.68). His numbers may drop slightly this year, but based on five of his eight years being above a point per game I’d be willing to bet that 2012 was the anomaly. Obviously Bob Murray agrees for giving him that contract.


Nick Bonino

#13 / Center / Anaheim Ducks

6-1

186

Apr 20, 1988


2013 Stats: 27 GP, 5-8-13, 15:53 TOI/G, in the playoffs he went 3-1-4 in seven games, including the OT game winner in Game 5.

Last Year’s Grade: B+ According to Daniel

Early on in the 2013 season, Bones struggled to find his game and right as he started to hit his stride he was sidelined with a lower body injury (missing 21 games) He was essentially the 2C by default, but acquitted himself well down the stretch and in the playoffs. This year I expect him to get pushed by Mathieu Perreault, depending on how the line chemistry shakes out.


Saku Koivu

#11 / Center / Anaheim Ducks

5-10

182

Nov 23, 1974


2013 Stats: 47 GP, 8-19-27, 20 of his 27 points came in his first 20 games played

Last Year’s Grade: I gave him an A, based mostly off of his first half performance.

Did anyone see last season coming from Koivu? I didn’t think so. I, for one, predicted a sharp drop off from him at the beginning of the lockout shortened season. Then again, his chemistry with Daniel Winnik and Andrew Cogliano (which led to much of his early season point production) was simply unbelievable. I don’t really see how Koivu can keep up that pace at age 38, especially considering the sharp drop off during the season last year.


Mathieu Perreault

#85 / Center / Anaheim Ducks

5-10

175

Jan 05, 1988


2013 Stats: 39 GP, 6-11-17, 20 PIM, 51.7% on faceoffs with Washington

Last Year’s Grade: Japers’ Rink went WAY more in depth on their player by player rankings in the summer. According to their poll, he was above average relative to his expectations (most respondents rating him as a 7/10) and Becca H had this to say about Perreault.

Everybody needs to calm down about this trade. Sure, Bob Murray didn’t get the defenseman that he needed, even after the rash of injuries befalling the blueline during training camp/preseason, but he’s made it painfully clear that he doesn’t care about that. The fact is the Ducks won this trade hands down. Frankly, this tweet from JP says it all:

His regular (non-fancy) stats are comparable to Bonino’s so it should be interesting to see how he is used by former and future coach Boudreau.


Peter Holland

#74 / Center / Anaheim Ducks

6-2

185

Jan 14, 1991


2013 Stats: 21 GP, 3-2-5 in Anaheim and 45 GP 19-20-39 in Norfolk

Last Year’s Grade: Jen gave him a D, for not showing in the NHL what he did in the A (aka Kyle Palmieri Disease)

This is the make it or break it year for Holland. In the last year of his entry level deal, he’ll need to prove that he’s ready to make the jump to the NHL permanently. On Sunday that job just got quite a bit more difficult when Mathieu Perreault was acquired, bringing with him 134 additional games of NHL experience and a relationship with Bruce Boudreau. Honestly, I think the Perreault trade is a comment on Holland’s play more than anything else.

Rickard Rakell

2013 Stats: Nothing in his four games with Anaheim, but racked up 23-21-44 in 40 games with the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL and 6-9-15 in 15 playoff games. Oh and by the way, won a silver medal, led the team in assists, and tied for the team lead in scoring while representing Sweden at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships. Not too shabby.

Last Year’s Grade: B+ from Kyle (remember it’s relative to expectatations)

I’m really excited to see what Ricky Raccoon can bring, but it’s just not going to happen this year. In training camp he was regularly lined up with the Brad Staubitz’ and John Kurtz’ of the world, and not given much of a chance at playing with a real line, while the coaching staff took a long, hard look at Holland. As I stated above, they thought so highly of Holland that they needed to bring in another center with more than six times the NHL experience he has. Rakell is behind Holland in the depth chart, I think that’s about all you need to know about Rakell this year.

Antoine Laganiere

2013 Stats: 37 GP, 15-14-29, and 58 PIM with NCAA National Champion Yale

Last Year’s Grade: N/A, but I’m sure Kristen was a big fan

Laganiere signed as a free agent out of college, after helping Yale to its first ever NCAA title. He got into 2 preseason games, and didn’t do much statistically, before being assigned back to Norfolk He’s a big kid (6’4" 214), having matured in college, and is expected to be a solid two way player. I watched the entire NCAA tournament last year, paying added attention to Yale (thanks Kristen) and have to say I didn’t notice him a whole lot, but considering his style of play that’s not a bad thing. Let’s see how he works out in Norfolk this season.

Charlie Sarault

2013 Stats: 68 GP, 22-86-108 (!!!!!!!!) with the Sarnia Sting (OHL) and six assists in six games with Norfolk

Last Year’s Grade: N/A, but seriously, go back and look at that point production!

This guy is just fun to watch. He’s small (only 5’11" 184) and absolutely works his ass off all game long, from what I’ve seen in rookie camp, training camp and preseason. His numbers are largely inflated due to playing on a team with Nail Yakupov (in 2012) and Alexandre Galchenyuk (last year), but he was a big part of Norfolk’s push to the brink of the playoff picture at the end of last year as well. He should be a big part of the Ads’ plans for the next few years, and if he cracks the Ducks’ lineup once or twice, it would probably be a pretty big achievement.

Steven Whitney C/RW

2013 Stats: 38 GP, 26-19-45 with Boston College and 3-1-4 in eight games as an Admiral

Last Year’s Grade: N/A

I’m pretty sure you have to be under 6’ to even apply to BC. At 5’7", 162 a lot of what was said about Sarault also applies to Whitney. He should be a good player for Norfolk, but is unlikely to make it up to the big time in the next few years, if at all.

Chris Wagner C/RW

2013 Stats: 70 GP, 8-13-21 and 65 PIM with the Ads

Last Year’s Grade: N/A

Wagner is a versatile two-way player who had a better scoring touch in college than he did in his first year as a pro. He seemed to make an impression in camp, meeting after practice one day with Saku Koivu, Andrew Cogliano, Emerson Etem, Matt Beleskey and Peter Holland. He’s likely to play the full season in Norfolk, and with the way they’re set up the middle, I expect him to push either Sarault or Whitney to the wing for most of the season.

Joseph Cramarossa C/LW

2013 Stats: 68 GP, 19-44-63 with the Belleville Bulls of the OHL

Last Year’s Grade: N/A

It seems like Cramarossa has been hanging around Ducks camp for about 14 years, but it’s only been three. That’s what having such a memorable name will do for you. This year he sustained an eye injury during the rookie game against the Kings and wasn’t available during camp. He’s another guy I’d expect to get pushed to the wing based on the Norfolk depth of center during his first year of pro hockey, coming up in 2013-14

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