With Part One of the Ducks Draft Preview complete, I now look to the pick I think would be a little more risky, but pay off bigger for the Anaheim Ducks.
The Ducks have set up a system of "Hit you, hit you again, and then break your back by scoring"-type of system, through general manager Brian Burke’s additions and Randy Carlyle’s coaching style. Unfortunately, that game looked very flawed in the playoffs against Dallas, as the penalty kill for the Ducks constantly failed. In the draft, the Ducks need not only a scorer (a weak spot in the Ducks attack) but also a hitter who can be a versatile player.
That player is ranked #10 in the Draft (his draft ranking keeps falling due to discipline issues). His name? Kyle Beach.
Beach is a 6-3, 203 pound mix of a goal scorer and an enforcer. Unfortunately he is usually called a “king-sized Sean Avery”, which worries me.
The Ducks have enough discipline problems from Chris Pronger. They don’t need more goonery, especially from someone compared to be the next edition of the most hated man in the NHL. But of my two possible “good-fits” for the Ducks, guess who Brian Burke likes?
"There's (top pick) Steven Stamkos and then there's about six good defensemen," Burke said. "If we see an opportunity to trade up, we'll do it. If we can't, we might trade down. Kyle Beach is talented and belligerent. He does sound like a Duck."
I agree with Burke: he does sound like a Duck. Even the thought of a scoring and hitting forward like Beach in a Duck uniform turns me into a drooling Homer Simpson. With all this being said, I am still concerned his lack of self control could have both me, and the Ducks saying “D’oh!” after a year or so. Beach has battled concussions, which hurt his draft ranking, and occasionally he has fought teammates, a scary prospect to any coach and GM.
“Off the ice, he's polite; on it, he's probably the most hated player in the WHL,” said one blog about Kyle Beach.
"He's like Eddie Haskell," said one WHL observer.
"He's got a big mouth. He chirps. He plays on the edge and crosses the line, for sure ... his reputation for doing stuff goes back to Bantam [League]," said another WHL executive, who likes his talent, and his big shot, but admits he's got baggage.
"I saw Beach play awhile back and he scored a goal, killed penalties and speared a poor guy in the head," said an NHL front-office guy.
Kyle Beach may grow out of his “thug” stage, or he may adjust it to the limits imposed on NHL caliber players upon being drafted. Of course, he may fall forever off the sanity wagon and be a Sean Avery. For the Ducks though, the good in Beach might out weigh the bad. In 60 games this season, Beach had 27 goals and 33 assists for 60 points. He also amassed 222 penalty minutes. A forward like Beach might be just what the Ducks need to add a little jump to the team. Either way, he might be worth taking a chance.
With Part 2 now complete, after looking at both Kyle Beach and Zach Boychuk, you, the readers, have your own spin. So let me know who you think the Ducks should take. These two players were the first two players I felt could end up in Orange County, but you may have someone else in mind.
Zach Boychuk would be a superb and safe choice for the Ducks. He is quite the scoring threat and powerful skater, but I worry his size would get him killed in the Ducks' style of play. On the other hand, Kyle Beach would come straight to the Ducks with practically a criminal record; if Beach is serious about being an NHL player and ending his discipline problems, than he would be a great selection at 12th overall.
Only the Draft in Ottawa will leave us with answers. Until then it’s all guessing.
For more Ducks draft information including a video of Kyle Beach, be sure to check out The Puck Drop: Your Source for Everything Anaheim Ducks.
Image: Courtesy of Everett Silvertips website.