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Duckling Season: The Right Wings

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Troy Terry leading the “right way”.

In this series, we look at the top Ducks prospects at each position and attempt to predict where they will be playing this season based on current evaluations.

RULES OF WHAT PLAYERS QUALIFY AS “TOP PROSPECT” FOR THIS EXERCISE

1) I wanted to keep my focus on players who have a legitimate chance at starting the season with either the Ducks or the San Diego Gulls. So you will not see Henry Thrun (this year’s 4th round pick) mentioned as he has no shot of playing for either team this year. The only exceptions are this year’s first round picks: Trevor Zegras and Brayden Traycey.

2) To further narrow down the list, I mainly focused on guys who were drafted in the first two rounds of recent drafts. These will more than likely be the names most people or casual fans are familiar with. The only exception is Troy Terry who was a late bloomer and selected in the 5th round in 2015. He has a legitimate chance not only be on the Ducks opening night rosters, but be a major contributor on the Ducks top six forward group. The goalie prospects are also exceptions to this rule.

3) The age cap is set to 23, so newly signed Andrew Poturalski (AHL playoff MVP with the Charlotte Checkers) does not count as a prospect in this exercise.

4) Players that played over 30+ games with the Ducks in each of the last 3 years were not included. This would be Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Kase who will no doubt be in the Ducks opening line up (trade/injury pending).

So here we go…one more time…everybody’s feelin’ fine…(pardon the N’Sync lyric break). Editor’s Note: Tony never apologize for an N’Sync break in fact you’re promoted - CJ

**Note - I am bending (not fully breaking) some of my prospect guidelines in discussing the wingers. Ducks and Gulls fans are very much familiar with Kiefer Sherwood and Jack Kopacka so I figured I would break them down as well seeing as they have a shot to play themselves into a depth role with the Ducks or at the very least, will be major contributors to the San Diego Gulls.


Troy Terry - 2015 5th Round Pick (148th Overall)

Height: 6’ 1”

Weight: 178 lbs

Where he played last season: Anaheim Ducks/San Diego Gulls

Where he will play in 2019/2020: Anaheim Ducks

Contract: 1 year left on ELC (RFA Next off season)

Why he will be there: Terry stands out among the Ducks’ wing prospects as the most likely to be in the starting line up in Anaheim entering this next season. Much like fellow Ducks/Gulls teammate Sam Steel, Terry had a bit of rough go his first stint up with the big club last season.

His second showing was much more productive and he looked much more confident, finishing out the season with 13 points (4G, 9A) in the 32 total games. What should have Ducks fans excited is the season he had with head coach Dallas Eakins and the San Diego Gulls. Terry finished with 41 points (16G, 25A) in 41 games, was named to the AHL All Star team and was called the “best player in the AHL” at one point by The Athletic’s Corey Pronman.

Terry has fully recovered from the broken leg he suffered at the end of last season and I’m excited to see what he can do in his first full season in the NHL.

Daniel Sprong - 2015 2nd Round Pick (46th Overall by Pittsburgh)

Height: 6’ 1”

Weight: 180 lbs

Where he played last season: Pittsburgh Penguins/Anaheim Ducks

Where he will play in 2019/2020: Anaheim

Contract: 1 year left on ELC (RFA Next off season)

Why he will be there: Daniel Sprong is a tough player to get a read on...wait, who am I kidding? Daniel Sprong can score goals and the Ducks need goals (not just Gulls... see what I did there?). The narrative on Sprong’s game rung true when he came over from Pittsburgh in exchange for Marcus Petterson: he can score and he can skate, but he does not do defense. What this means for the Ducks and Dallas Eakins going forward is finding a way to utilize his great shooting ability and sheltering him in non-defensive situations.

Does he need to work on his back checking? Sure. Can he be more aggressive on the forecheck? Absolutely. But ultimately, Sprong showed that he is very good at doing the hardest thing to do in hockey: score goals. It will be interesting to see how he is utilized this season and if he is a part of the Ducks new “young core” for the long run.

Kiefer Sherwood - Undrafted (NCAA Free Agent University Miami Ohio)

Height: 6’ 0”

Weight: 195 lbs

Where he played last season: Anaheim Ducks/San Diego Gulls

Where he will play in 2019/2020: San Diego with appearances in Anaheim

Contract: 1 year left on ELC

Why he will be there: Sherwood is more or less the opposite of Daniel Sprong. A player with less skill who is all about effort and tenacity and gives it his all at both ends of the ice. He also sprinkles in some skill and a sneaky-good wrist shot. I have called him “Kase-lite” ever since he has been with the Ducks.

Put that all together and you may have a prototypical modern day fourth line right winger. The problem for Sherwood does not directly have to do with him and a lot to do with the log jam ahead of him on the Ducks depth chart. With Jakob Silfverberg, Ondrej Kase, and Troy Terry all but locked-in for full time spots, that only leaves one opening on the right wing. Depending on how the lines shake out, Sherwood could be the plug-in guy for injuries or if someone needs a night off. We may see him on the left side at times, but we will more than likely see him down in San Diego with the Gulls to begin the season.