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Ducks Draft History & Picks During The Bob Murray Era (2008-Present)

What can we learn and predict from charting out previous draft years under Ducks GM Bob Murray?

Hampus Lindholm (selected sixth overall in 2012) is the perfect representative of the kind of defender Murray has drafted.
Hampus Lindholm (selected sixth overall in 2012) is the perfect representative of the kind of defender Murray has drafted.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Bob Murray stepped in as the General Manager of the Anaheim Ducks on November 12th, 2008 after spending the previous few seasons as the club's Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations. Since then, he has taken ownership in revamping the Ducks roster and finding bright-eyed talent for the club's prospect pool. He won the NHL General Manager of the Year last season and is once again up for the honor for the 2014-2015 season. And just this week, he was named to Hockey Canada's Management Group for 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

He has made some important trades during his time, but just as equally notable is his work in drafting new prospects. Because the 2015 NHL Draft is just around the corner (this Friday 6/27 to Saturday 6/28), we here at AC wanted consider the possible draftees that Bob may have on his radar based on the patterns gleaned from past draft years.

2008 NHL Draft Year

Draft Round Num. Player Pos Drafted From Country of Origin Player Notes
2008 Entry 1 17 Jake Gardiner D Minnetonka H.S. (Minn.) US Offensive defenseman who can skate well
2008 Entry 2 35 Nicolas Deschamps C Chicoutimi Sagueneens [QMJHL] Canada Speedy with good hands
2008 Entry 2 39 Eric O'Dell C Sudbury Wolves [OHL] Canada Smooth puck-mover with good hands a great vision
2008 Entry 2 43 Justin Schultz D Westside Warriors [BCHL] Canada Offensive puck-carrying defenseman
2008 Entry 3 71 Josh Brittain L Kingston Frontenacs [OHL] Canada Big-bodied, gritty power forward
2008 Entry 3 83 Marco Cousineau G Baie-Comeau Drakkar [QMJHL] Canada Butterfly-goalie with solid poise
2008 Entry 3 85 Brandon McMillan L Kelowna Rockets [WHL] Canada Smaller forward with a two-way game, who can skate well
2008 Entry 4 113 Ryan Hegarty D US National Under 18 Team US Small stay-at-home defenseman
2008 Entry 5 143 Stefan Warg D Vasteras Jrs. (Sweden) Sweden Big-bodied stay-at-home defenseman
2008 Entry 7 208 Nick Pryor D US National Under 18 Team US Two-way puck-mover

2009 NHL Draft Year

Draft Round Num. Player Pos Drafted From Country of Origin Player Notes
2009 Entry 1 15 Peter Holland C Guelph Storm [OHL] Canada Tall and strong center, who skates well and has a quick, heavy shot
2009 Entry 1 26 Kyle Palmieri R U.S. National Under-18 Team [Ind] US Very fast offensive and gritty player with quick stick and hands
2009 Entry 2 37 Mat Clark D Brampton Battalion [OHL] Canada Potential to be a physical offensive defenseman
2009 Entry 3 76 Igor Bobkov G Magnitogorsk Jr. (Russia) Russia Big-bodied goaltender with solid athletic ability and flexibility
2009 Entry 4 106 Sami Vatanen D Jyp Jr. (Finland) Finland Very speedy but small puck-carrying, puck-moving offensive-minded defenseman
2009 Entry 5 136 Radoslav Illo C Tri-City Storm [USHL] Slovakia Goal scorer with quick release, accurate shot, and the ability to find space
2009 Entry 6 166 Scott Valentine D Oshawa Generals [OHL] Canada Physical offensive defenseman

2010 NHL Draft Year

Draft Round Num. Player Pos Drafted From Country of Origin Player Notes
2010 Entry 1 12 Cam Fowler D Windsor Spitfires [OHL] US Elite skating, savvy puck carrying, two-way blueliner
2010 Entry 1 29 Emerson Etem R Medicine Hat Tigers [WHL] US Unorthodox skating style but very speedy with quick and accurate shot
2010 Entry 2 42 Devante Smith-Pelly R Mississauga St. Michael's Majors [OHL] Canada Big-bodied, strong player
2010 Entry 5 122 Chris Wagner C South Shore Kings [EJHL] US Versatile and physical two-way center who is an excellent faceoff man and executes defensively and offensively
2010 Entry 5 132 Tim Heed D Sodertalje SK [SEL] Sweden Offensive-minded defenseman
2010 Entry 6 161 Andreas Dahlstrom C AIK [Swe-1] Sweden Smallish, shifty, imaginative player with solid hockey sense and a well-rounded game
2010 Entry 6 177 Kevin Lind D Chicago Steel [USHL] US Big shutdown defender whose game is predicated on strong man-on-man play
2010 Entry 7 192 Brett Perlini F Michigan State University [CCHA] Canada Quick player with above-average skills

2011 NHL Draft Year

Draft Round Num. Player Pos Drafted From Country of Origin Player Notes
2011 Entry 1 30 Rickard Rakell C Plymouth Whalers [OHL] Sweden Plays big and aggressive, a quick  skater with good hockey sense
2011 Entry 2 39 John Gibson G U.S. National Development Team [USHL] US Big, strong, calm and controlled goaltender with great net coverage sound technically moving very well laterally
2011 Entry 2 53 William Karlsson C Vasteras IK [Swe-1] Sweden A speedy and skilled two-way player with good passing skills
2011 Entry 3 65 Joseph Cramarossa C Mississauga St. Michael's Majors [OHL] Canada Crash-and-bang lower line player with solid puck-moving skills
2011 Entry 3 83 Andrew Welinski D Green Bay Gamblers [USHL] US Fluid skater with a hard, dangerous shot and a bit of a nasty edge to his defensive game
2011 Entry 5 143 Max Friberg L Skovde [Sweden] Sweden slightly undersized but a strong, physical player, with a combination of speed, skill, and aggressiveness
2011 Entry 6 160 Josh Manson D Salmon Arm Silverbacks [BCHL] Canada Big and physical

2012 NHL Draft Year

Draft Round Num. Player Pos Drafted From Country of Origin Player Notes
2012 Entry 1 6 Hampus Lindholm D Rogle BK [Swe-1] Sweden All-round defenseman with good size and mobility, who skates well and has impressive puck skills
2012 Entry 2 36 Nicolas Kerdiles F U.S. National Development Team [USHL] US Good skater and goal scorer with a good shot and overall quite impressive offensive abilities
2012 Entry 3 87 Frederik Andersen G Frolunda HC [SEL] Denmark A gigantic modern-style goaltender with terrific reach
2012 Entry 4 97 Kevin Roy F Lincoln Stars [USHL] Canada Smaller offensive player with great stick handling and passing skills
2012 Entry 4 108 Andrew O'Brien D Chicoutimi Sagueneens [QMJHL] Canada Rugged big-bodied offensive defenseman
2012 Entry 5 127 Brian Cooper D Fargo Force [USHL] US Shorter two-way defenseman with good skating, shooting and passing skills
2012 Entry 7 187 Kenton Helgesen L Calgary Hitmen [WHL] Canada Big-bodied stay-at-home defenseman defender
2012 Entry 7 210 Jaycob Megna D U. of Nebraska-Omaha [WCHA] US Big-bodied defensive defenseman

2013 NHL Draft Year

Draft Round Num. Player Pos Drafted From Country of Origin Player Notes
2013 Entry 1 26 Shea Theodore D Seattle Thunderbirds [WHL] Canada Skilled two-way defenseman with a fine passing game
2013 Entry 2 45 Nick Sorensen R Quebec Remparts [QMJHL] Sweden Offensive player who can forecheck and skate well
2013 Entry 3 87 Keaton Thompson D U.S. National Development Team [USHL] US Solid and steady two-way defenseman, rarely out of position
2013 Entry 5 147 Grant Besse F Benilde-St. Margarets (Minn. H.S.) US Smaller, highly skilled offensive player and a very good skater
2013 Entry 6 177 Miro Aaltonen F Blues [SM-liiga] Finland Small, speedy, goal-scorer with good puck-handling and playmaking ability, who can skate well

2014 NHL Draft Year

Draft Round Num. Player Pos Drafted From Country of Origin Player Notes
2014 Entry 1 10 Nick Ritchie L Peterborough Petes [OHL] Canada Big-bodied power forward with blend of size, skill and strength, who also skates well
2014 Entry 2 38 Marcus Pettersson D Skelleftea (Sweden Jrs.) Sweden Tall and lanky two-way defender with good mobility, strong positioning and impressive passing ability
2014 Entry 2 55 Brandon Montour D Waterloo Black Hawks [USHL] Canada Offensive puck-moving defenseman who skates and passes well
2014 Entry 5 123 Matthew Berkovitz D Ashwaubenon (Wisc. H.S.) US Good skating defenseman who pushes the puck up ice and defends intelligently
2014 Entry 7 205 Ondrej Kase F Chomutov Pirati [Czech] Czech Republic Smaller speedy playmaking winger who handles the puck well

Daniel wrote a great update HERE on how last year's draft class is currently faring one year after being selected by the Anaheim Ducks organization.

We can easily peg what position Bob has a preference for strictly from a numbers count.... Defensemen. Out of the 50 prospects that were drafted by the Anaheim Ducks, Bob has gone with drafting defensemen 22 of those 50 spots. That's nearly half, and in four of the first round draft year picks of the past total seven drafts he has chosen a defenseman. From this brief history it's pretty clear that he prefers OFFENSIVE-minded, puck-carrying, SKATING defensemen. The current young blue line made up of recently drafted boys (Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen) is good evidence of this. We still have a lot to look forward to in the likes of Shea Theodore, Marcus Pettersson and possibly Josh Manson and Brandon Montour. In SBN's NHL mock draft 2015, taking the Ducks GM's mindset, Chris selected Jacob Larsson (you can read all about him here).

It is evident that Bob has done a pretty good job in stocking up on blue line talent. That is not to say that he will not take his chances on choosing forwards. He has drafted two centers (Peter Holland and Rickard Rakell) first, and just last year he used the first round pick to select power forward Nick Ritchie at #10 overall. Looking at his history of drafting forwards/centers, it is clear that Bob values: 1) Skating skills, 2) Size, 3) Offensive skill. Most of the forwards that were selected early in their draft years were good skaters with skill and speed. Size is important to this club which boasts the heaviest club in the NHL. Size and grit has become a characteristic Bob likes to see on his team, but at the same time Bob does not sacrifice size for offensive skill. He clearly values puck-movers and puck-carriers in both his defensemen and forwards.

After charting it out, it should be extremely interesting how GM Bob Murray will proceed in selecting in this year's 2015 NHL draft. Will it once again be the year of defensemen? Or has the time come for Anaheim to cultivate a center/forward? What are your thoughts?