Dobber's offseason fantasy hockey grades – Anaheim Ducks
For the last 16 years (12 with The Hockey News) Dobber has reviewed each team from a fantasy-hockey standpoint and graded them.
The 17th annual review will appear here on DobberHockey throughout the summer. This is not a review of the likely performance on the ice or in the standings, but in the realm of fantasy hockey.
And don’t forget to pick up the 14th annual DobberHockey Fantasy Hockey Guide
Impact of changes – The Ducks made an addition here by subtraction. In buying out Perry, sure they freed up a lot cap space. But more importantly, they freed up ice time and PP time that would have been – to be blunt – wasted. Perry using those minutes would have been taking up opportunities better used by the up-and-coming prospects such as Troy Terry and Sam Steel. Also, with Perry gone, Jakob Silfverberg becomes the top right winger on the team. His defensive acumen is too valuable, so it’s unlikely he will get a lot of first-line appearances. But his ice time will see a bump and so will his PP time.
With Perry gone and veteran center Ryan Kesler also doubtful (hip) for the entire season, there are two key spots freed up as well as a ton of power-play time. And there will be plenty of prospects getting a long look as a result, with the ones stepping up the most obviously garnering fantasy interest.
Ready for full-time – The Ducks are going all in with the youngsters, with Terry and Steel locks for the opening roster.
Terry finished up the 2018-19 campaign with the big club. He also finished up the campaign with another injury (broken leg – he’s back on the ice now). These are getting to be a concern with Terry, who has now suffered an injury to end each of his two professional seasons. The 22-year-old is on the cusp of becoming a great fantasy asset, as he already has the AHL figured out (41 points in 41 games with San Diego last year). If he can stay healthy he is a strong bet for at least a point every two contests. (Troy Terry profile and prospect info here)
Steel is penciled in to be the third-line center, but he has the upside to lead this team in scoring within three seasons. He had 41 points in 53 games for San Diego, plus another 11 in 22 for Anaheim. Because he’s a center he won’t have the opportunity to play with Ryan Getzlaf (an advantage that Terry will have). (Sam Steel profile and prospect info here)
Max Comtois was dynamite last year, surprisingly making the club out of camp and then posting seven points in 10 games before suffering an injury. He had great chemistry with Silfverberg, so it will be interesting to see if that dynamic picks back up again this fall. Comtois had five goals in five games at the WJC for Team Canada and added 48 points in 25 games in the QMJHL. Now 20, he is eligible for the AHL this season. (Max Comtois profile and prospect info here)
Another Max is also on the cusp. Max Jones is a power forward and as such he will need a little more time to put up the points at the NHL level. But that doesn’t mean he can’t contribute as an NHL player. At the very least a midseason call-up, Jones is already starting to figure out the AHL and would be close to a point-per-game player at that level if he doesn’t make the big club. The team acquiring Deslauriers could be a signal that the would like to see Jones stay in the AHL for one more year. (Max Jones profile and prospect info here)
On defense, Brendan Guhle, Josh Mahura, Jacob Larsson and Hakanpaa will battle for two or possibly three spots. But all four players will see plenty of games with the big club (in the Fantasy Guide I have Mahura with the fewest projected games, at 37). Hakanpaa is a huge (6-5, 218 pounds) defenseman who likes to mix it up and is a potential fantasy asset when it comes to Hits, PIM and BLKS. He is one to keep an eye on in banger leagues. (Jani Hakanpaa profile and prospect info here)
Larsson (prospect profile here) is a defensive defenseman who will have no fantasy value. Guhle (prospect profile here) had potential as a puck-moving defenseman but he has struggled at the pro level. He should turn into a No.4 or 5 defenseman, but don’t expect any offense any time soon. Mahura (prospect profile here) also has some upside and he’s a year younger than Guhle (21 versus 22). He had 19 points in 40 AHL games following his 69-point season (60 games) with Regina of the WHL. He got into 17 contests with the Ducks last year (five points) so you know he’ll get a long look.
Anaheim Ducks prospect depth chart and fantasy upsides can be found here (not yet ready for mobile viewing, desktop only right now)
Fantasy Outlook – This is a young team in rebuild mode, but the rebuild already has some pieces in place. Ideally, as star Getzlaf fades (and that has already apparently begun), other youngsters will step in and take over. That won’t be this year. But hopefully we will at least see two or three of these prospects reach 40 points and show flashes of what the next step from them will look like. For now, Rickard Rakell, Silfverberg and possible breakout player Ondrej Kase (if he can stay healthy) are the veterans leading the offense alongside Getzlaf. What does that mean? Likely zero players on this team reaching the 60-point mark…With John Gibson in net goaltending is stable – and they have him locked in for eight more years… What was once a strength is now a fantasy weakness. The Ducks once held such promise there: Hampus Lindholm, Cam Fowler, Brandon Montour, Sami Vatanen. Now Montour and Vatanen are gone, Lindholm is established as a mid-30s producer and Fowler can stay healthy enough to have his second 40-point season…eight years after he had his first one.
Fantasy Grade: D+ (last year was C+)
Pick up the 14th annual DobberHockey Fantasy Hockey Guide
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