The Anaheim Mighty Ducks are coming off a rebuild 2018-2019 season, finishing the season with 80 points. To begin the offseason the Ducks held the ninth selection overall in the 2019 NHL draft.
They needed to continue to improve their offense so they used it to take Trevor Zegras, a center from the very talented United States U-18 National Team. Eight days later, the Ducks traded a 2020, fourth round draft choice to the Montreal Canadians for right-winger Nicolas Deslauriers. Once free agency opened, the Ducks made a flurry of signings, six in total.
They added goaltender Anthony Stolarz for two seasons, left-winger Blake Pietila for one season, center Andrew Poturalski for one season, defenseman Jani Hakenpaa for one season, right-winger Andrew Martinsen for one season, defenseman Michael Del Zotto for one season, and defenseman Chris Wideman for one season. If the Ducks season takes a turn for the worse like expected, veteran center Ryan Kesler could find himself on the trade block. The Ducks are in the midst of a rebuild. Stay tuned to see how this one turns out.
The Ducks finished the regular season this year tied for the best record in the Western Conference. The Ducks were awarded the one seed in the top half of the Western Conference bracket and defeated the Winnipeg Jets in round one. The Ducks are facing the Calgary Flames in round two, and they currently lead that series 2-0. They have as good of a chance as any team left to bring home the Stanley Cup.
Current key players on the Ducks include Ryan Getzlaf, who finished the season with 191 shots on goal, and 70 points. Corey Perry, Ryan Kesler, and Jakob Silfverberg have a combined 141 points for the regular season. Frederik Andersen and John Gibson shared most of the duites at the position of goalie, with Andersen playing in twice as many games as Gibson. As it happens, both goalies ended up with the same saves percentage for the year. Racking up the most penalty minutes for the Ducks was none other than Tim Jackman.
The Anaheim Ducks were founded in 1993, originally as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The team actually got it's name from the film franchise known as the Mighty Ducks. The Mighty Ducks film franchise is about a junior hockey team based in Minnesota and as the series goes on, they add players from other parts of the country. Three movies were made in total, and the franchise is most popular with the millennial generation. Since their inception back in 1993, the Ducks have won their division four times. Their first win came in 2007, and then the last three years running, 2013, 2014, and 2015. In addition, the Ducks have won the Western Conference twice: 2003 as well as 2007. In 2007, they won the Stanley Cup, their lone Finals win.
The Anaheim Ducks had a good 2016 regular season. The Ducks finished the season with 103 points, tied for the third best record in the Western Conference with the Chicago Blackhawks, behind the St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars. They had a disappointing playoffs, as they got upset in the first round by the Nashville Predators in seven games. The Ducks entered the 2016 off season needing to fix their offense, where they ranked a measly 27th in goals scored. They had two first round draft choices, and two moves they made were more based on the future. They drafted left winger Max Jones, who is playing in the Ontario Hockey League as a Ducks prospect. They also drafted center Sam Steele.
The Anaheim Ducks, the team originally named for the Mighty Ducks movie franchise, had a very good campaign a year ago. The Ducks finished the season as one of four teams with over 100 points in the Western Conference during the regular season, and began the playoffs as the third seed in the West. In round one of the playoffs they dropkicked the Calgary Flames out the door in four games. In round two the young and super-talented Edmonton Oilers took them the full seven before the Ducks age and experience held true in game seven. In the Western Conference Finals the Ducks simply ran into the hottest team on the planet, the Nashville Predators, and lost in six games.
The team had a very quiet offseason overall, and their most notable move was grabbing very the very solid and battle-tested goaltender Jake Oettinger from Boston University with their first round draft choice. The problem for the Ducks going forward is all of their best players are not only on the wrong side of 30, but getting older by the hour. For example, 32-year-old center Ryan Getzlaf, their franchise player. Or his right and left hand men, 33-year-old center Ryan Kesler and 32-year-old winger Corey Perry. Their next best player, 33-year-old winger Patrick Eaves, is getting older as well. Ducks team management should keep that in mind, and will, going forward.