Ducks season preview: Zegras, McTavish lead young core

The 2022-23 NHL season begins Oct. 7. With coaching camps opening quickly, NHL.com is looking on the 3 keys, the interior scoop on roster questions, and the projected lineup for every of the 32 groups. Today, the Anaheim Ducks.

Coach: Dallas Eakins (fourth season)

Last season: 31-37-14, 7th in Pacific Division; didn’t qualify for Stanley Cup Playoffs

3 KEYS

1. Youngsters have to supply

Trevor Zegras, 21, used to be 2nd at the Ducks with 61 issues (23 objectives, 38 assists) ultimate season, however a few of their different young forwards struggled. Max Comtois, who led them with 16 objectives and 33 issues in 55 video games in 2020-21, had six objectives and 16 issues in 52 video games, so the 23-year-old will wish to step up his sport or probably lose his spot some of the most sensible six within the lineup.

Mason McTavish, 19, the No. 3 pick out within the 2021 NHL Draft, is predicted to have a large function this season. Isac Lundestrom, decided on No. 23 within the 2018 NHL Draft, may additionally play a extra outstanding function after the 22-year-old had 29 issues (16 objectives, 13 assists) in 80 video games ultimate season when the Ducks have been twenty fourth in scoring (2.78 objectives in keeping with sport). They ranked ultimate in 2020-21 (2.21).

2. Consistency on protection

The signing of defenseman John Klingberg to a one-year contract July 29 is a non permanent repair however can be a giant lend a hand on this crew coming in combination in entrance of goalie John Gibson. Klingberg and Cam Fowler may play a large function at the continual play, which completed 14th within the NHL ultimate season (21.9 p.c) after completing ultimate in 2020-21 (8.9 p.c). Jamie Drysdale and Urho Vaakanainen are every anticipated to tackle larger roles after the Ducks ranked twenty third permitting 3.24 objectives in keeping with sport ultimate season.

3. New leaders wish to emerge

Ryan Getzlaf, who performed 17 seasons for the Ducks and used to be captain for the previous 12, retired after ultimate season. His management at the ice and throughout the locker room will likely be overlooked, and somebody will wish to step up. Fowler and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk in addition to Zegras and ahead Jakob Silfverberg may well be some of the favorites to sooner or later earn the captaincy, however for now the Ducks don’t seem in a hurry to decide.

ROSTER RUNDOWN

Making the lower

Offseason acquisitions Ryan Strome and Frank Vatrano may play on the second one ahead line. Strome signed a five-year contract, and Vatrano agreed to a three-year contract on July 13. Comtois and McTavish may well be in line for a place with the ones two in coaching camp. The addition of Klingberg manner Josh Mahura, Simon Benoit and prospect Drew Helleson will compete for one of the crucial ultimate spots on protection.

Most intriguing addition

Klingberg, who used to be regarded as via many to be the highest loose agent defenseman to be had this offseason, will supply an instantaneous spice up along with his offensive ability and shot-blocking skill. The right-handed shot additionally is valuable at the continual play; he had 20 power-play issues with the Dallas Stars ultimate season. The 30-year-old will carry veteran management to the locker room and shouldn’t have any downside hitting the reset button after scoring six objectives (tied for fewest of NHL profession) and having a career-low minus-28 score with Dallas in 2021-22.

Biggest possible wonder

McTavish had two objectives and one lend a hand in 9 video games for the Ducks ultimate season, 29 objectives within the Ontario Hockey League (24 for Hamilton, 5 for Peterborough) and one function in 3 video games for San Diego within the American Hockey League. He’s anticipated to have a large have an effect on after incomes Most Valuable Player on the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship for Canada in August when he led all scorers with 17 issues (8 objectives, 9 assists) in seven video games.

Ready to wreck via

Drysdale, who’s within the ultimate season of his entry-level contract, completed 2nd amongst NHL rookie defensemen with 32 issues (4 objectives, 28 assists) in 81 video games ultimate season. Detroit Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider, who gained the Calder Trophy voted as NHL rookie of the yr, led all rookie defensemen with 50 issues. Drysdale, the No. 6 pick out within the 2020 NHL Draft, desires to give a boost to in his personal finish after completing minus-26. The 20-year-old performed with Lindholm to start out the season after which Fowler after Lindholm used to be traded. Drysdale used to be partnered with Vaakanainen on the finish of the season and may to find himself paired with the 23-year-old left-hand shot to start out this season.

Fantasy sleeper

Drysdale, D (myth reasonable draft place: 169.1) — He used to be 3rd amongst rookie defensemen in power-play issues (12) and may get away with publicity to treasured young forwards Zegras and McTavish. — Pete Jensen

PROJECTED LINEUP

Adam Henrique — Trevor Zegras — Troy Terry

Max Comtois — Ryan Strome — Frank Vatrano

Max Jones — Mason McTavish — Jakob Silfverberg

Derek Grant — Isac Lundestrom — Sam Carrick

Cam Fowler — John Klingberg

Uhro Vaakanainen — Jamie Drysdale

Josh Mahura — Kevin Shattenkirk

John Gibson

Anthony Stolarz

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