The Anaheim Ducks fell short of the playoffs this past season, which was surprising to most as they have all the tools to make it. The Ducks going forward are looking to regain past successes, and building through the draft is the best way to do that.
The Ducks had eight picks in this weeks draft—two of which were first rounders. In the first round, the Ducks had two major steals, and could rebuild faster than they initially anticipated.
Let me introduce to you the six newest Anaheim Ducks:
With the 12th overall selection, the Anaheim Ducks got a major steal as they drafted defenseman Cam Fowler of the Windsor Spitfires. Fowler rated earlier to be a top five prospect fell significantly down the charts, along with Moncton's Brandon Gormley.
Fowler provides amazing offensive potential from the blue line, and has plenty of defensive upside as well. Often compared to Mike Green, Fowler can QB a powerplay, he can make a great outlet pass, and he can put the puck in the net.
The potential is even their that he may make the team as soon as next year, so all Ducks fans should be very excited with this selection.
The second first-round selection saw local Californian Emerson Etem drafted at with the 29th selection. Etem also fell down the standings as he was projected to be a mid first rounder.
Etem provides a lot of offensive potential up front as he has a very hard and accurate shot. With 37 goals in his rookie campaign with the Medicine Hat Tigers, Etem has proved that he is a pure goal scorer.
Etem also has NHL ready speed, and size, another year or two developing with the Tigers will be very beneficial to his game. Etem will make the NHL, and he will be a difference maker down the road.
The Ducks picked up their second forward of the draft picking up Majors forward Devante Smith-Pelly.
Devante is a defensive minded forward, who doesn't give you a lot of flash or skill, but does give you grit and determination. Smith-Pelly did pick up a point a game this past season, but given a shot at the Ducks he would be a grinder.
Devante is very good at what he does, and while projected to go later on is a very smart selection.
The Ducks acquired Toronto's fifth round selection, and with it picked up winger Christopher Wagner. Wagner playing with South Shore in the EJHL, picked up nearly two points a game, and was named the league MVP.
Wagner's numbers may seem a little inflated as the Eastern Junior Hockey League is not the same kind of competition as major junior, but Wagner still shows great leadership qualities and offensive potential.
Wagner will lace up the skates for Colgate University next season.
With their second fifth round selection, the Ducks selected Swedish born defender Tim Heed. Playing with Sodertalje's junior team, Heed was over a point a game player. Heed also appeared in 27 elite league games.
Heed's downside, and likely reason for being drafted so low is that his defensive game lacks, and at 165 lbs, he is very small and will need to fill out.
The Ducks have plenty of time to allow Heed to improve in all areas of his game, and they may want him to make the jump over to junior hockey to expedite his growth.
The sixth round saw Anaheim take Andreas Dahlstrom and Kevin Lind.
Dahlstrom, a centre in the Swedish elite leagues saw limited action, but still put up decent numbers. Dahlstrom is a gritty forward, who isn't afraid to make the dirty plays to get the puck.
Kevin Lind is a blue liner for the Chicago Steel in the USHL. Lind is more of a defensive defensmen, who will not put up great numbers, but can shut down plays effectively. Lind is over 200 lbs and is an intimidating force on the back end.
Finally, the Ducks took Michigan native Brett Perlini. This winger again does not have that offensive punch that many players in the draft have, but he can grind it out with the best of them, and could be a solid third or fourth line checker.
With Emerson Etem being the showcase up front, the Ducks really improved the offence, and players like Devante Smith-Pelly and Christopher Wagner may be able to put up some numbers in time.
Fowler was an absolute steak at 12th overall. While he still isn't quite up their with the Gudbranson's, Gormley's or Forbort's he still has shown a lot of potential from the back end.
The Ducks did not draft a goaltender.
The Ducks improved significantly in the draft. While Fowler is really the only real threat for a roster spot in the fall, the Ducks have to be very pleased with the improvements in the forward and defensive departments from this draft.