The Ducks are rebuilding at the moment after an extended stretch of being a aggressive workforce. A star No. 1 heart in Trevor Zegras is an efficient place to start out, adopted by a prime younger defenseman in Jamie Drysdale and one other premium younger heart in Mason McTavish. There’s extra work to do in Anaheim earlier than they’re able to win once more, however the items are coming collectively once you have a look at the depth of their system.

Key graduate: Maxime Comtois

Key additions: Pavel Mintyukov, Drew Helleson, Nathan Gaucher, Tristan Luneau

2021 rating: No. 10

2022 NHL Draft grade: B+

Full 2022-23 NHL Pipeline Rankings

Player Ranking

1. Trevor Zegras, C

21 years outdated | 6 toes | 173 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 9 in 2019
Tier: Bubble elite NHL participant and NHL All-Star

Skating: Below NHL common
Puck expertise: High-end
Hockey sense: High-end
Compete: NHL common

Analysis: Zegras’ rookie NHL season went in addition to you might have hoped. He was one of the vital artistic gamers within the league this season and a giant motive why Anaheim threatened for a playoff spot within the first half of the season. He makes particular performs with the puck constantly resulting from his talent and offensive IQ, displaying a uncommon mixture of elite creativeness and skill to improvise underneath stress, each as a handler and a passer. Zegras isn’t the quickest participant you’ll ever see or a tremendous defensive participant, however his compete is sneaky good. He doesn’t get pushed round bodily, which helps complement his wonderful puck recreation. He’s going to be a star within the NHL for a very long time.

2. Mason McTavish, C

19 years outdated | 6-foot-1 | 207 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 3 in 2021
Tier: Top of the lineup participant

Skating: NHL common
Puck expertise: Above NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: Above NHL common
Shot: Above NHL common

Analysis: McTavish had an eventful season bouncing between the NHL, AHL, two OHL groups, the World Juniors and the Olympics, however for essentially the most half he discovered success wherever he went. McTavish is a well-rounded participant. He can play with tempo and talent, displaying the flexibility to make powerful offensive performs on the transfer. He can create and end possibilities, whereas additionally having a excessive compete degree and with the ability to grind his strategy to extra possibilities and puck possession. He seems like a possible first-line heart within the NHL, most likely a lower-end No. 1, however I’m not ruling out a better prime facet for him.

3. Jamie Drysdale, D

19 years outdated | 5-foot-11 | 175 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 6 in 2020
Tier: Top of the lineup participant

Skating: Above NHL common
Puck expertise: Below NHL common
Hockey sense: Above NHL common
Compete: NHL common

Analysis: Drysdale performed a big function for the Ducks as a teenage defenseman. He was capable of play within the league due to his improbable skating means. He’s an extremely fluid skater who can shut on checks effectively, evade stress, skate pucks up and stroll the blue line at a transparent NHL degree resulting from his toes. He’s not an offensive dynamo however he’s a intelligent, environment friendly puck-mover who could make performs along with his mind and toes. Drysdale’s defending wasn’t nice this season, however given his age and body that was to be anticipated. With time I feel he will probably be an ideal two-way defenseman within the NHL.

4. Olen Zellweger, D

18 years outdated | 5-foot-10 | 175 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 34 in 2021
Tier: Bubble prime and center of the lineup participant

Skating: Above NHL common
Puck expertise: NHL common
Hockey sense: Above NHL common
Compete: NHL common

Analysis: Zellweger had an ideal season, being a prime defenseman within the CHL and making Canada’s U20 workforce. He’s a superb puck-mover who could make NHL-caliber expert performs as a rusher and a passer. Combined along with his glorious mobility, Zellweger can create offense in a number of methods. Zellweger’s one knock is his measurement — not many defensemen along with his body make it as prime 4 defensemen resulting from defending points. His skating is so good although that I feel he’ll be OK defensively whereas including plenty of offense to be a prime 4 man within the NHL.

5. Nathan Gaucher, C

18 years outdated | 6-foot-3 | 207 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 22 in 2022
Tier: Middle of the lineup participant

Skating: Below NHL common
Puck expertise: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: Above NHL common

Analysis: Gaucher is a talented and aggressive heart. He possesses a cumbersome 6-foot-3 body and is a bodily participant, which permits him to win plenty of puck battles. Gaucher creates plenty of offense across the web resulting from his bodily instruments. He’s a accountable two-way participant who can PK effectively. Offensively he’s not flashy, however he has the palms to make performs contained in the offensive zone and reveals flashes of excellent playmaking. I feel his level totals would have been larger on a unique QMJHL workforce this season however Quebec was fairly deep up entrance. He creates loads across the exhausting areas of the ice. He has a fluid stride however lacks top-end velocity and doesn’t make a ton of performs. Gaucher initiatives as a second-line two-way heart.

6. Drew Helleson, D

21 years outdated | 6-foot-3 | 195 kilos | Shoots proper

Acquired by way of commerce
Tier: Middle of the lineup participant

Skating: NHL common
Puck expertise: NHL common
Hockey sense: Below NHL common
Compete: NHL common

Analysis: Helleson had one other good season in faculty, together with getting an invitation to the Olympics for USA the place he performed a restricted function. A key a part of the Josh Manson commerce, Helleson is a tall, cell, right-shot defenseman who can present worth at each ends. He can use his attain and mobility to make stops, whereas having sufficient talent to create secondary offense even when he’s not essentially the most pure puck-mover. He seems like a possible prime 4 defenseman.

7. Isac Lundeström, C

22 years outdated | 6 toes | 187 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 23 in 2018
Tier: Middle of the lineup participant

Skating: NHL common
Puck expertise: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: Above NHL common

Analysis: After a gradual begin to his time in North America, Lundeström had a breakout season at age 22, trying like somebody who can assist an NHL workforce win video games. He brings good velocity and compete and is usually a defensive asset, however the query has all the time been how a lot pure talent and offense he’d convey. He answered that query by scoring 16 objectives and making sufficient performs to play in the course of a lineup as a middle.

8. Pavel Mintyukov, D

18 years outdated | 6-foot-2 | 194 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 10 in 2022
Tier: Middle of the lineup participant

Skating: NHL common
Puck expertise: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: NHL common
Shot: Above NHL common

Analysis: Mintyukov is an thrilling defenseman. He performs with tempo and is aggressive as a rusher. His skating permits him to evade stress simply and transition pucks up ice along with his toes. Mintyukov can also be extremely expert and may make performs by means of legs and sticks. He reveals good offensive IQ, figuring out when to activate and learn how to make performs with the puck. He additionally has a tough level shot, making him harmful on the PP along with his skating and imaginative and prescient. Defensively he’s stable, displaying a capability to make use of his lengthy attain, mobility and physicality to kill performs. He is usually a little too aggressive at occasions making an attempt to create offense when he leaves his defensive place. He initiatives as a top-four defenseman with the potential to play excessive within the lineup.

9. Calle Clang, G

19 years outdated | 6-foot-2 | 194 kilos | Catches left

Acquired by way of commerce
Tier: Projected beginning goaltender

Skating: Below NHL common
Hockey sense: Above NHL common

Analysis: Clang had an ideal first SHL season, trying like he belonged as a 19-year-old and serving to a prime workforce win video games. The athletic instruments don’t pop as a 6-foot-2 goalie with out lateral agility that pops, however he’s a extremely good goaltender. Clang all the time appears in the fitting spots and makes powerful stops look straightforward with environment friendly actions and nice anticipation. I may see him as a low-end beginning goalie or an ideal backup.

10. Benoit-Olivier Groulx, C

22 years outdated | 6-foot-1 | 192 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 54 in 2018
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: Below NHL common
Puck expertise: Below NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: Above NHL common
Shot: Above NHL common

Analysis: Groulx had a stable second professional season being a very good AHL participant and getting a bit of NHL video games. Groulx isn’t the flashiest participant, however he’s a employee with good hockey sense. He can create some offense along with his playmaking and a powerful wrist shot, however his worth is usually as a hard-working heart who can PK. Whether he can sustain with the NHL tempo has all the time been the problem with Groulx, however the compete is nice sufficient he ought to carve out a bottom-six profession.

11. Tristan Luneau, D

18 years outdated | 6-foot-2 | 189 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 53 in 2022
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: Below NHL common
Puck expertise: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Shot: Above NHL common

Analysis: Luneau’s strengths include the puck on his stick. He’s a really good puck-moving defenseman with a stable talent degree. He has the imaginative and prescient and poise to make nice retailers and discover seams within the offensive zone. Luneau reveals the stick expertise to place pucks by means of legs occasionally. He lacks velocity to hurry pucks however his stick and mind let him transition effectively. He additionally has a tough level shot permitting him to be harmful on the ability play. His skating results in some defensive points and he might should be a man within the NHL who doesn’t take powerful matchups. I feel he’ll play within the NHL however he might should be utilized in a particular manner.

12. Jackson LaCombe, D

21 years outdated | 6-foot-2 | 201 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 39 in 2019
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: NHL common
Puck expertise: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: NHL common

Analysis: LaCombe was a prime defenseman within the Big Ten, and a giant a part of the Gophers’ success this season. He’s a gifted defenseman who brings the mobility, palms and imaginative and prescient to create offense in transition or from the blue line. He’s a real energy play asset and will probably be in order a professional. The principal query on LaCombe has all the time been his defending. As a junior he turned an everyday on Minnesota’s PK and took heavier minutes, however whether or not he has the compete to take action as a professional stays to be seen. If he could be simply OK defensively he has top-four defenseman instruments.

13. Sam Colangelo, RW

20 years outdated | 6-foot-2 | 205 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 36 in 2020
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: Below NHL common
Puck expertise: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: Below NHL common

Analysis: Colangelo had a greater sophomore season at Northeastern being a prime ahead for them. His expertise is apparent as a giant, expert winger who could make and end performs. He’s a risk contained in the offensive zone and on the ability play within the number of methods he can assault defenses. Colangelo’s recreation lacks velocity and consistency although and he can play an excessive amount of on the skin. I feel he performs video games however I’m 50/50 on whether or not he can play in a prime 9.

14. Lukas Dostal, G

21 years outdated | 6-foot-1 | 166 kilos | Catches left

Drafted: No. 85 in 2018
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: Below NHL common
Hockey sense: Above NHL common

Analysis: Dostal adopted up his sturdy first season in North America by once more being a prime goalie within the AHL at age 21, trying like a participant able to take the following step. He’s a really good goaltender who has all the time anticipated the play at a excessive degree and makes powerful stops appear straightforward. The query on Dostal will probably be how a man along with his body and lack of top-end lateral mobility will do within the NHL. He’s handed each check thus far as he’s superior ranges, nevertheless it’s for that motive I venture him as extra of a high quality backup goalie.

15. Sasha Pastujov, LW

18 years outdated | 6 toes | 184 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 66 in 2021
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: Below NHL common
Puck expertise: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: Below NHL common
Shot: Above NHL common

Analysis: Pastujov had a powerful first OHL season placing up plenty of objectives and factors. Pastujov is an fascinating prospect as a result of whereas he’s very expert, he doesn’t all the time pop in the best way you anticipate from a prospect rated this excessive. He’s not that fast, can drift to the perimeter and his playmaking doesn’t — to an eye fixed check — look elite. He simply finds methods to attain constantly 12 months after 12 months. Watching him, he seems like a man who can have points with the NHL tempo. Part of me wonders if he’s simply an in-and-out-of-the-lineup man, which is what I at the moment venture him as, however along with his scoring file he may very well be a middle-six kind simply too.

16. Jacob Perreault, RW

19 years outdated | 5-foot-11 | 192 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 27 in 2020
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: Below NHL common
Puck expertise: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: Below NHL common

Analysis: Perreault’s second professional season as a 19-year-old went effectively. Perreault is a extremely expert and imaginative participant. He has an excellent shot, nevertheless it’s his talent and offensive IQ as a puck handler and passer that makes him precious. Inside the o-zone with the puck he could make issues occur, however he’s not that huge, fast, and may play an excessive amount of on the perimeter so it makes me query whether or not his fashion interprets to the NHL. I feel he performs and has middle-six potential however I can’t say for certain in the present day he hits that degree.

Has an opportunity to play (listed alphabetically)

Tyson Hinds, D

19 years outdated | 6-foot-3 | 179 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 76 in 2021

Analysis: Hinds is a tall defenseman who could make a stable first go, has a tough level shot and may make stops resulting from his attain and mind. My one query is whether or not his skating is nice sufficient to be an everyday NHL participant.

Blake McLaughlin, LW

22 years outdated | 6 toes | 157 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 79 in 2018

Analysis: McLaughlin is a talented, aggressive ahead who has performed on each particular groups for Minnesota. His skating is simply OK although and the offense is probably not ok to beat that.

Ian Moore, D

20 years outdated | 6-foot-2 | 171 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 67 in 2020

Analysis: Moore’s measurement and mobility to go along with respectable offense give him an opportunity to make it and have some two-way worth as a professional. I don’t assume he excels at both finish but, so what precisely his NHL function could be is the primary debate on his recreation.

Thimo Nickl, D

20 years outdated | 6-foot-2 | 176 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 104 in 2020

Analysis: Nickl is a tall right-shot defenseman with sturdy two-way hockey sense. He could make stops however whether or not his mobility is NHL caliber is the primary subject in his recreation.

Albin Sundsvik, C

20 years outdated | 6-foot-2 | 187 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 160 in 2020

Analysis: Sundsvik isn’t the flashiest participant by way of velocity and puck talent, however he’s a tall heart who works exhausting, can PK, and has good hockey sense.

Henry Thrun, D

21 years outdated | 6-foot-2 | 188 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 101 in 2019

Analysis: Thrun is a very smart puck-mover who could make performs from each ends and is a brilliant defender as effectively. His skating is simply OK although and his tempo will probably be his principal check at larger ranges.

Brayden Tracey, LW

20 years outdated | 6 toes | 170 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 29 in 2019

Analysis: Tracey is a talented playmaker who had a good rookie professional season after a tricky finish to his junior profession. He has some offense however his skating and compete/consistency want work to turn into an NHL participant.

Noah Warren, D

18 years outdated | 6-foot-5 | 224 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 42 in 2022

Analysis: Warren’s bodily device package is what attracts him to scouts. He’s about 6-foot-5 and skates fairly effectively for a person his measurement. When he’s bringing pucks up in transition or closing gaps effectively on checks along with his physique, he can appear to be a professional defenseman and somebody who will make plenty of stops versus males. The query on Warren for larger ranges will probably be his offense and whether or not he can transfer the puck. He reveals good flashes of talent and with the ability to make performs on the transfer, nevertheless it’s a really inconsistent side of his recreation. If he could make a dependable, constant first go, he’ll play all day within the NHL however that’s what he must show.


Player Eligibility: All skaters who’re 22 years outdated or youthful as of Sept. 15, 2022, no matter what number of NHL video games they’ve performed, are eligible. Player heights and weights are taken from the NHL.

Tool grades: Tool grades are primarily based on a scale with six separate ranges, with an eye fixed towards how this attribute would grade within the NHL (poor, below-average, common, above-average, high-end and elite). “Average” on this scale means the device initiatives as NHL common, which is supposed as a optimistic, not a criticism. Skating, puck expertise, hockey sense and compete for each projected NHL participant are graded. Shot grades are solely included if a shot is notably good or poor.

Tier Definitions: Tiers are supposed to present roughly the place in a median NHL lineup a participant initiatives to fit in.

(Illustration: Wes McCabe / The Athletic; photograph of Trevor Zegras: Norm Hall / NHLI by way of Getty Images)



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