With the start of the season upon us, and with this being the 25th anniversary of the Ducks, what better way to start the season than with a list of the top 25 Ducks of all time?
All Anaheim Calling writers (except for Felix due to being a Habs fan) were polled for their list of the top 25 Ducks of all time. Each list was taken and point values assigned to each position on the list to then create the overall Anaheim Calling top 25 list.
Each individual staff members list will be released at the very end.
The rollout of the lists will be as follows:
Monday September 24th: Honorable Mentions and 25th-21st
Tuesday September 25th: 20th-16th
Wednesday September 26th: 15th-11th
Thursday September 27th: 10th-8th
Friday September 28th: 7th-6th
Saturday September 29th: 5th
Sunday September 30th: 4th
Monday October 1st: 3rd
Tuesday October 2nd: 2nd
Wednesday October 3rd: 1st
Let’s get started!
Jared Boll’s Eyebrows, Ben Lovejoy, Elite 1C Derek Grant, Adam Henrique, David (the GOAT) Steckel, Jiri Sekac, George Parros, Nick Bonino, Lubomir Visnovsky, Todd Marchant, Oleg Tverdovsky, Guy Hebert, Ilya Bryzgalov, Frederik Andersen, Joffrey Lupul, Josh Manson, Brad May.
Number 25: Matt Cullen
Cullen was drafted by the then Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the second round of the 1996 entry draft. He would go on to make his debut with the Ducks in the 96-97 season at the age of 21 years old. He would play in 427 games for the franchise and scored 65 goals and 135 assists for 200 points. These totals place him inside the top 10 for games played by a skater and just outside the top 10 in terms of points.
Number 24: Jakob Silfverberg
Silfverberg was acquired by the Ducks along with Stefan Noesen and a 1st round pick (10th overall) in exchange for Bobby Ryan. Over his tenure as a Duck, Silfverberg has made a name for himself not only with his ability to put up a decent amount of points with a deadly shootout record, but also as a defensive winger. He has been utilized mainly on a shutdown line during his time in Anaheim and has excelled in that role. He has played in 371 games so far in a Ducks sweater and has scored 83 goals and 107 assists for 190 points. These totals place him at 15 for games played by a skater and 14 for points.
Number 23: Chris Kunitz
Kunitz is the first member of the 2006-2007 Stanley Cup Champion side to crack the list, and (this may come as a shock to you), he certainly won’t be the last. The winger was signed as an undrafted free agent out of college by the then Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 2003. He would have to take a slightly indirect route, though, to making the Ducks roster permanently. Coming out of the 04-05 lockout, the Ducks placed Kunitz on waivers. The Atlanta Thrashers would go on to claim him, but two weeks later he was put on re-entry waivers, which the Ducks used to bring him back. He would go on to play in 313 games and potted 81 goals and 111 assists for 192 points. Of note with Kunitz: he would break Paul Kariya’s rookie scoring record with the franchise in the 05-06 season by scoring 41 points.
Number 22: Rob Niedermayer
The Ducks received Rob Niedermayer at the 2003 trade deadline for Mike Commodore and JF Damphousse. The winger would help the Ducks reach the 2003 Stanley Cup Final and come within one win of lifting the Cup. He played a big part in the Ducks being able to right their wrongs and win the Cup in 2007, albeit kind of indirectly. Rob being on the Ducks was a large reason that the team was able to sign then UFA Scott Niedermayer, which changed the course of the franchise. For that alone, Rob deserves to be on this list. On top of that he played in 382 games and scored 41 goals and 68 assists for 109 points.
Number 21: Ruslan Salei
Rusty was the stalwart of the Ducks defense for years. He still leads the franchise in games played for defenseman with 594 games played. He came into the Ducks organization through the 1996 Entry Draft when the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim selected him with their 9th overall pick. Over his time with the franchise, he never posted huge point totals (26 goals, 79 assists, 105 points), but he was the always-reliable defenseman for the team. Tragically, he passed away in the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash in September of 2011. He was regarded as one of the most genuine hockey players anyone could meet, and was planning on coming back to Anaheim to enjoy retirement after a final season in the KHL. RIP Rusty.