NHL.com will provide in-depth lineup, prospect and fantasy analysis for its 32 teams from August 8 to September. 8. Today, the Anaheim Ducks.
The Anaheim Ducks have had a busy offseason and believe they are ready to contend for a Stanley Cup playoff spot after failing to qualify for the past four seasons.
Ducks sign forward on first day of free agency Ryan Strom and Frank Valtrano into their top six.
“I think Ryan would be a great addition from a few different angles,” general manager Pat Verbeck told the Ducks website on July 18. “From a leadership standpoint, it’s going to be very, very important. Obviously, he’s a very good playmaker and has also scored good goals this year. So, I think to have someone who is very efficient offensively, and Someone who can provide a very good culture and very good leadership in the dressing room is very important to our club and we solved that.”
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Strom had an NHL career-high 21 goals with the New York Rangers last season; Valtrano had 32 points (18 goals, 14 assists) in 71 games with the Rangers and the Florida Panthers ).
“I think we just want to try and win some hockey games,” Strom said. “We have some good old guys and hopefully we come here and continue to grow as a team. That seems to be where everything is going. A bit of a misstep [in the past few seasons] lost some people who have been here for decades (Ryan Gertzlaff, Corey Perry, Hampus Lindholm). It’s not necessarily easy to replace, but I think we’re working on it. “
Getzlaf retired after 17 seasons, including the past 12 as captain.
“Ryan was a terrific captain, a terrific player, and a better person,” coach Dallas Eakins said. “So, it does leave a hole, but Adam Enrique is a great leader. Troy Terry is growing into a very good leader. Pat added Strome and Vatrano to it. Jacob Silverberg. Derek Grant is a quiet leader. Cam Fowlerthe incredible leader. Kevin Shattenkirka great leader. John Gibson. We have a lot of really nice people. These are good people, which is usually where leadership starts, and I think they’re all people who can fill the gaps in the team. “
In addition to Strom and Valtrano, Ducks also signed defensemen John Klingberg The one-year contract was signed on July 29.
“Well, obviously, if you look at their team, I think they have some really interesting young players,” Klingberg said. “I think they took a step last year. Looking at their team, I think they had a lot of injuries and COVID issues last year but still ended up getting a lot of points. I’m just happy to be there and try to help the team in the next It got better this season.”
Add these three players to the core including the striker Trevor Zegrass And Terry, it’s not hard to see why this is an exciting time for Anaheim. Zegrass scored 61 points and reached the Calder Cup final last season as Rookie of the Year. Terry led the Ducks with 37 goals and 67 points; it was the first time Anaheim had a 30-goal and 60-point scorer since the 2017-18 season.
“obviously [Zegras and Terry] Both have very productive season points. I think Troy Terry’s shooting (19.3 percent) is incredible,” Eakins said. “So getting him to match his stats or Trevor to match his stats, I think it’s going to be a challenge, but Knowing these two young men as I do, this would be a low bar for them. They will be looking to add to what they achieved last year.
“…we hope Jakob Silfverberg (blood clot) recovers and makes a full recovery, hope Max Jones (torn pectoral) can recover – he only played two games last year – we’re looking for a big rebound year Max Contoix (16 points in 52 games). “
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Anaheim finished seventh in the Pacific Division last season, 21 points behind the Nashville Predators, and was the second wild card to make the playoffs from the Western Conference. The Ducks are 24th in scoring (2.78 goals per game) after finishing last in 2020-21 (2.21), 29th in 2019-20 (2.56) and 2018-19 (2.39). But the addition of Strome, Vatrano and Klingberg should help.
“I think you can see all the pieces are there,” Valtrano told the Ducks website on July 14. “There are great veterans on the team who have been around for a long time, and then you have younger players who have proven themselves at such a young age. When you have a good mix of veteran leadership and young players who can push the game It’s a sign of a great team….Anaheim has a very bright future.