A couple of days ago, we looked at the deep, deep, Ducks D corp…so lets take a look at how they became on of the elite teams in the league.
It’s pretty easy to see that the foundation of the current team is built on the results of the 1st round of the phenomenal 2003 draft with Ryan Getzlaf (13th), Corey Perry(28th) and Ryan Kesler (23rd).
But the Ducks forward roster also includes several other 1st round picks taken in subsequent years:
Kyle Palmieri – 26th overall 2009
Emerson Etem – 29th overall 2010
Rickard Rakell – 30th overall – 2011
Andrew Cogliano – 25th overall 2005 (by Edmonton who later disposed of him for a 2nd round pick)
That’s pretty much a drafting home run but we should also recall that, though very astute trades the Ducks had multiple 1st round picks in some of those drafts and not once since 2007 when they drafted Logan MacMIllan 19th overall, have the Ducks missed on ANY of their 1st round picks despite normally being at the bottom end of the round and have produced a raft of NHL players.
Jake Gardiner – 17th overall – 246 GP
Justin Schultz – 42rd overall – 203 GP
Brandon McMIllan – 85th overall – 171 GP
Peter Holland – 15th overall – 130GP
Kyle Palmieri – 26th overall – 198 GP
Sami Vatanen – 126th overall – 123 GP
Cam Fowler – 12th overall – 345 GP
Emerson Etem – 29th overall – 112 GP
Devante Smith-Pelley – 42nd overall – 149 GP
Rickard Rakell – 30th overall – 93 GP
John Gibson – 39th overall – 36 GP
Hampus Lindholm – 6th overall – 156 GP
Fredrick Anderson – 87th overall – 82GP
That is just outstanding draft work and shows how important getting it right can set up a team for many years.
It’s also worth noting that the Ducks have another couple of players who I would think, despite it being early on, are almost slam dunk star NHL players.
D – Shea Theodore – 26th overall. (34P in 48GP WHL) (11P in 9GP AHL)
Nick Ritchie – 10th overall – 6’3″ 230 LW ( 62P in 48GP OHL regular season) (13G 26P in 11 OHL playoff games.)
The scary thing about the Ducks’ forward group is that the oldest, Getzlaf, Perry and Kesler are all only 30 years of age and the group coming up behind them is skilled and very deep.
With their ongoing success in finding gems in the late 1st round and beyond, they should remain an elite team for years.