The Ducks released their official Rookie Camp Dates & Roster last Friday featuring 3 goaltenders, 17 forwards and 8 defensemen.
The camp will be held at The Rinks (Anaheim Ice) on the 6th & 7th of September, before the Ducks head east to Vegas to see how their development squad stacks up against those of San Jose, Vegas, Los Angeles, Arizona and Colorado.
All practices will be open and free, so be sure to lock in your calendars to get down there!
I for one am hoping some if not all of those games will be streamed.
A quick perusal over the roster has some of the usual suspects as well as a generous selection of this most recent drafts selections (particularly between the pipes). However, what stood out to me the most, are the return of two Junior Invites last seen at prospect camp a few months ago, as well as someone I didnt expect to see ever again.
Justin Ducharme - was one of my selections in the “Guess the Selections” bit I did with Benny before the draft. I also touched on him on my most recent Gulls piece while he was attending Prospect Camp.
Jersey numbers are not available as yet so no confirmation on whether he will be rocking the #69 again. UPDATE: He is rocking the #69 again!
The other Junior invite to return is defensemen Simon Benoit, I don't know that much about him, only that he was invited to the Kings prospect camp last year. He is an over-ager (19 years of age), and has gone undrafted twice now. This is likely due to what appears to be a lack of offensive upside. His game appears to be the “mean shutdown defenseman” role so if the Ducks see something in him akin to maybe Josh Manson (albeit without the offense), he could be worth keeping an eye on.
Last but not least; He was drafted as an overager by the Ducks in the 7th round of the 2016 Entry Level Draft, and failed to earn a contract with the Ducks in the two years since. He then tried his luck at the Canucks most recent prospect camp, as well as (somehow) the Florida Panthers July Camp. Then finally deciding to appear to commit to the University of Alberta this last month. Thats right! It’s Tyler Soy.
It should be noted (thanks for the reminder @chbmeredith) that Soy is eligible for a 5 year scholarship at a Western Canadian University thanks to his 5 year career in the WHL, so should he sign a pro deal - either with the Ducks, Gulls or anyone else (Canucks & Flames are possibles too), that scholarship would be void. So its a no lose situation for Soy but it is likely his last shot at impressing the club that originally drafted him.
Speaking of College - 2018 draft picks, Blake McLaughlin and Jack Perbix, will not be attending due to commitments to the University of Minnesota and Notre Dame, respectively.
However, the Ducks top two draft selections from the 2018 draft, forwards Isaac Lundestrom and Benoit-Olivier Groulx, will be in attendance, in addition to various other Ducks selections and free agent signings spanning across the past 3 years.
Notable names in this group include Maxine Comtois, who is coming off a brilliant post draft year season that puts him as the Ducks next great hope behind Sam Steel. His childhood friend and fellow 2017 draftee, Antoine Morand will also be there, as well as the aforementioned Sam Steel and his fellow 2016 first round selection Max Jones. However, it should be noted that Eric Stephens reported Jones will miss the start of the AHL season with a torn ligament in his hand (suffered during the prospect camp after the draft). Troy Terry will make his rookie camp debut after making the jump to pro and will be pushing hard for a spot in the NHL line-up whether by forcing an existing forward to switch to their off-wing or perhaps prompting an impromptu trade.
The pressure will be on the likes of Julius Nattinen (2015 2nd round), Mitch Hults (College Signee) and Alex Dostie (2016 4th round) to impress after a disappointing start to their pro-careers last year. Honorable mention to Deven Sideroff - who also falls into this category.
Keep an eye out for last years free agent signings of Giovanni Fiore and Keifer Sherwood - both coming off relatively strong first year pro efforts; they could surprise.
On the back-end, Jacob Larsson, Marcus Pettersson, and Josh Mahura, should be the obvious standouts. The competition is likely to be fierce between the two Swedes gunning for the Ducks 3rd pairing left side spot. However, after these three names the talent drops off significantly. For the curious however, 2018 6th round choice Hunter Drew offers some intrigue. He was an overage selection and will turn 20 in October. If he has a good final season in the QMJHL, he might force himself into the picture, given the Ducks quickly depleting defensive pipeline.
Filling out the rest of the spots are college signings Terrance Amorosa, Chris Forney, & Scott Moldenhauer, as well as the junior tryout Simon Benoit (who I already spoke about at the beginning). Of the three collegiate players, Amorosa offers the most in terms of potential production. He netted 27 points in 40 games for 12th ranked Clarkson University in his senior year. The former Flyers 2013 5th round choice was signed by the Gulls after Philadelphia allowed his rights to expire.
In goal 2017 5th round selection Olle Eriksson-Ek is joined by recent 2018 3rd and 5th round selections Lukas Dostal and Roman Durny. Dostal has been busy with the Czech U20 team in a 4 nations tournament recently. All three will be given the opportunity to show just what the Ducks have on the horizon in net. Gulls starters Kevin Boyle and the newly signed Jared Correau are given a rest as is Angus Redmond.
Who are you most excited to see at the camp and play in the prospect series? Who do you think will surprise?
Let us know in the comments or hit me up on twitter. I am always happy to talk Ducks prospects.