I did not cover Zegras in my initial preview because - despite having a lot of hype around his skill and vision - to me he reads like a more long term project. This year was a rare “down” year for the Ducks and I cannot see them having another high first rounder for at least another five or so years. They need to select a kid that is going to get to the NHL fast and make an impact. Trevor Zegras, although bigger than Hughes, has some scouts concerned about his lack of development.
Weight: 168lb (76kg)
Age: 18 (DOB Mar 20, 2001 - Belford, NY)
Zegras has 74 points in 52 games for the USNDP while playing Center on the second line behind Jack Hughes. You can take two tidbits from that. For one - he did it on his own without Hughes, but for another - he didn't face the same defensive assignments that Hughes did.
Scott Wheeler’s mid term ranking write-up is what had me most concerned and is the main reason why I cannot see Murray taking him with at least the Ducks’ first rounder. He notes that he has a high ceiling, but is going to take time to put it all together while also noting a lack of muscle development during his time with the USNDP, his indecisiveness as a shooter and inability to score off the rush when chances are there. He does go on to state that despite all of that his height will allow him to fill out a bit more and, even if he doesn't, he has the talent to overcome any potential strength deficits. Finally, in closing, he praises Zegras for his ability to find teammates through traffic, something Ducks fans are very familiar with in their quickly aging Captain.
Pronman agrees that he isn't the biggest or bulkiest of centers but that he has gotten steadily better in the physical parts of the game. Adding that you would not be drafting him to run over the opposition - more so to make plays and run the power play. Again, it’s these kind of comments that make me feel that he won’t be ranked as highly as some others on the Ducks’ draft list.
Don’t get me wrong, if the Ducks were in the position to be patient or if Zegras somehow falls to their additional first round pick - and provided Nils Hoglander is off the board - then I would be more than happy with them taking him. He could turn out to be the steal of the draft depending on where he falls. I just feel like that with the Ducks recent draft history concerning kids bound for college - they haven't taken someone this early in the first round since Jake Gardiner and he was taken 17th overall way back in 2008 - I don’t see them changing that anytime soon.