This is the first gameday since April 11th. Granted, it's a rookie exhibition game, but people wearing Ducks uniforms will be competing against people wearing Sharks uniforms, so if you're not rooting for a win, you're dead inside.
All eyes will be on the first rounders, as Mark Mitera, Peter Holland, Kyle Palmieri, Cam Fowler and Emerson Etem take the ice as the Ducks' highest-drafted assets. Though additional (and appropriate) attention will also go to second-rounders Nicolas Deschamps, Matt Clark and Devante Smith-Pelly, as well as older prospects Nick Bonino and Timo Pielmeier, who will be looking across the ice at their former cupboard-mates.
I, myself, am interested in some of the prospects with less sheen on their finish. Can Jake Newton follow up a great Conditioning Camp performance in a game situation where everyone else is actually conditioned back into hockey shape? Can Brandon McMillan follow-up his breakout year? Can Scott Valentine inch his way closer to a contract before the 19 year-old sixth rounder heads back to Oshawa? Tune in at 7:30-- same Duck-time, same Duck-channel. No, seriously, though, it's streaming on the Ducks' website, so you have to go to their page to tune in.
Across the faceoff dot, I'm interested to see if Tim Burke picks Tommy Wingels and Tony Lucia can impress at the next level. I'm obviously pulling for the latter as a former Gopher, but I expect that he'll struggle to earn his two-way role as a pro. People are understandably higher on Wingels' ability as an effective two-way forward (and thus maybe even a Top 6 two-way forward), but I'm not sold yet.
This will be a real test for the Ducks prospects, as the Sharks have a lot more pro-AHL talent on their roster, and the Ducks will be relying on some high and recent draft picks. Age versus beauty.