One of the best days of the offseason is right around the corner, the NHL Draft. It's an opportunity for people to forget the pains of the previous year's problems and focus on the hope that new prospects bring. Of course, It's always nice to check in on the progress of the prospects that are in the pipeline. So without further ado, here's what's been happening with last year's draft picks
Nick Ritchie: Ritchie seems to be enjoying the benefits of being a grown man in a league where mixed body types are the norm. His power forward game is progressing and the point totals are rising. He scored 62 in 48 OHL games split between Peterborough and Sault Ste. Marie, due to a midseason trade. In the postseason with Sault Ste. Marie Ritchie put up an impressive 26 points in 14 games. Hockey's Future has him ranked as the 19th best prospect. That number is a little soft considering the list also features players who were playing the Stanley Cup final in Teuvo Teravainen and Andrei Vasilevskiy. Ritchie was drafted to be a top end scorer, and he continues to put up the points. All seems to be going as planned.
Marcus Petterson: The Ducks have been developing a taste for Swedes. Petterson is a defenseman who was taken in the second round by Anaheim and started his 2014-15 with Skellefteå AIK of the Swedish Hockey League, formerly the Swedish Elite League. It's usually a good sign when an 18 year old starts his career playing in the adult league, but Petterson played more games with the under-20 squad than the big club. Petterson managed 10 points in 20 games for the U-20 team, but was pointless for the main squad in 14 games. He was recently signed to an ELC, but is expected to stay in Sweden to continue to fill out that 6'4" frame. Ultimately, he'll need a more consistent opportunity to develop his talents.
Brandon Montour: Another second round selection, 55th overall, Montour has decided to forego his college eligibility and sign his ELC with Anaheim. Montour had a great freshman season for UMass, amassing 20 points in 21 games. Afterwards, he joined Norfolk and continued to produce good offensive numbers, putting up a goal and nine assists for 10 points in 14 games. His .71 points-per-game was second to only Shea Theodore who put up 11 points in 9 games. Montour will be a staple of the San Diego defense next year.
Matthew Berkovitz: The Ducks had a draft heavy in defense. Berkovitz was the third one taken in a row, He spent his 14-15 season in the USHL which is an amateur junior league based in the midwestern United States. He didn't put up a lot of points there. His development won't truly begin until he begins at the University of Wisconsin next season.
Ondrej Kase: Kase might be the diamond in the rough for the Ducks from the 2014 draft. His speed and offensive acumen have stood out. You might not think of the third highest league in the Czech Republic as being one of the better leagues in the world, and you'd probably be right. Still, Kase is a 7th round pick who put up 21 points in 37 games. He scored a point per game in the playoffs, and he really is a speedy skater. If he can fill out his frame and translate his game to North American ice, he'll be someone to watch.