So for the first time in a long while the Ducks do not have a first round pick. But of all the drafts to not have a first round pick in, this would be the one to do it because after the Nico and Nolan picks are made the rest are allegedly a total crap-shoot.
So starting in the second round - Anaheim has a pick at 50th overall (acquired via the Frederik Andersen trade) and again at 60th.
Drafting by need - the most glaring concern for the club is depth in goal. As of now they only have two goaltenders (John Gibson and Dustin Tokarski) signed for next season with an additional entry level collegiate signing (Angus Redmond) and the unsigned UFA Kevin Boyle and RFA Jhonas Enroth. Also - despite Gibson still being relatively young; his penchant of becoming injured when needed most is becoming concerning. It might be time to start digging for his long-term replacement sooner than later.
Next up is Right Wing depth - Anaheim reloaded at Center and Left Wing in the last draft by getting stand-outs Max Jones, Sam Steel and Troy Terry but currently do not have much in the way of RW depth behind Sideroff and the recently departed Sorensen and Gortz (not to mention Andre Petterson who has been in the KHL for the past 3 years). Kase holds the torch as the most promising talent at the position at the moment and if the Ducks could find another steal like him (7th round 2014) they could consider this draft a success.
On Defence the Ducks are pretty evenly balanced between left and right shooting blueliners; there isn't really any urgent need to select either a swift moving skater or a stay-at-home bruiser. They have plenty of both in the pipe-line. If they do decide to take a defencemen I see it being late in the draft and in the mold of a Jaycob Megna - a more stay at home shutdown defender; as they seem to be less valuable and likely more easier to find in the later rounds.
So lets look at the Goaltenders.
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen: HPK JNR
Pros: Finnish, called Pekka, what more could we want? Is the best European ranked netminder and projected to go as high as 40th but on average at about the 50th position, which is where the Ducks make their first pick.
Cons: Can get caught out of position a lot and has sub-par puck handling skills.
Jake Oettinger: Boston Univesity
Pros: Highest ranked netminder in the draft, might not last longer than 40th, is positionally sound and not prone to "swimming".
Cons: Can be too reliant on positioning, needs more game time.
Michael DiPietro: Windsor Spitfires
Pros: Excels in stealing games and has the knack for making the big save. Also played on the same team as soon-to-be-Gull Julius Nattinen - winning the Memorial Cup.
Cons: At 6”0 he is small by today's goaltender standards and has average puck-handling skill. His recent play and winning the Memorial Cup likely puts him out of the Ducks reach at the 50th pick.
Keith Petruzzelli: Muskegon USHL
Pros: Big - 6'6" and loves to handle the puck. Something the Ducks have not had in a goaltender since Andersen. His teams general manager is John Vanbiesbrouck who said of the prospect
"I think he's prototypical in the way he analyses, and I think the biggest part of his advancement in his game is his mental approach".
HockeyWriters have him going to the Ducks with their 50th pick (as all of the above were already taken). Oh yea and he has already scored a goal Broduer style.
Cons: Knocks on his game are rebound control and overplaying the cross-ice pass but these are fixable.
Kirill Ustimenko: Dynamo St. Petersburg 2
Pros: Relative unknown but came out of nowhere to surprise many at the most recent U18s, nabbing a shutout and winning bronze. Given he has already demonstrated he can carry a team - at the international level, his stock has risen considerably. But could possibly be still be available late in the 2nd or even the 3rd.
Cons: Everyone knows about him now so he might go higher than expected. Also there isnt any youtube highlights of him.
The Right Wingers:
Nick Henry: Regina Pats (WHL)
Pros: High acceleration and strong for his size (5’11”) is not scared to go to the net, plays the cycle game well and has a play-makers touch.. Played on the top line with Sam Steel where he put up 81 points in 72 games and was a +32. He netted a further 12 points in 22 games in the playoffs. He finished 2nd overall in rookie scoring for the WHL
Cons: Needs to bulk up more and improve play away from the puck. Hard to tell whether his breakout season is as a result of the stacked team he is on or if he helped contribute directly.
Lucas Elvenes: Rogle BK (SHL)
Pros: Possesses exciting stick handling and play making skills, he is tenacious with the puck and is only willing to give it up to make a play.
Cons: One of the youngest eligible in the draft this year and due to this - understandably undersized. Also would the Ducks be willing to take a risk on another Swedish winger who goes back to Sweden when he doesn't make the big club.
Ivan Lodnia: Erie Otters (OHL)
Pros: Is a multidimensional threat - he came back from the Ivan Hlnka with a 3-1-4 in 4 games haul and was then promptly asked to play a shutdown role against the top lines of opposing teams. He put up 57 points and was a +21 in 66 games for the Otters this season playing primarily on the 3rd line. Oh and he was born in LA.
Cons: He is already on a lot of teams radars - our friends at Wining It In Motown want the Wings to take him with the 38th pick. He lacks size at 5’10” but has also just hit a growth spurt.
Stelio Mattheos: Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
Pros: Non-flashy - has very few holes in his game. Played on the same team as Nolan Patrick. Strong skater, smart defensively and brings a lot of hustle and energy.
Cons: Is good at a lot of things but not great - lacks any game-changing skill. Could use his size more.
Mackenzie Entwhistle: Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)
Pros: Top flight Penalty Killer willing to do the little things to win and has a sneaky ability to finish.
Cons: Recently recovered from Mono which caused his stocks to drop from a potential first rounder to a mid-to-late second. Currently lacks elite offensive skills but there is room and definite upside there.
Who do you see the Ducks selecting with their second round picks? Do you think they will attempt to trade up to the first round? Can you see them taking any of the above goaltenders or right wingers if they are available?