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Ducks Announce Rookie Camp Roster
By Thomas Harrington
After announcing the upcoming rookie tournament last month, Anaheim announced the rookie camp that will take place before the tournament, as well as the roster. Rookie camp will take place on September 6th and 7th, and both days will be open to the public and free of charge. If you can, I highly encourage you to attend, as it’s a fun experience, and the only time that you’ll be able to see some of these players until next summer. The tournament itself will take place in Las Vegas, and the Anaheim rookies will play against rookies from Los Angeles, Colorado, and Arizona.
The Ducks will have a total of 28 players participating at the camp and tournament: 17 forwards, eight defensemen, and three goaltenders. Overall, the Ducks will have one player they selected in the 2014 draft, four players from the 2015 draft, six players from the 2016 draft, four players from the 2017 draft, five players from the 2018 draft, six free agents, and two junior invites. None of Anaheim’s college prospects will be participating in the tournament, but virtually every other prospect will be. Given the fact that it’s not a large roster, I think most of the players will play in at least two games, except for the goaltenders, who will each probably start one game. Players who might get in all three are ones that the Ducks want a longer look at, whether that’s for playing time in Anaheim or San Diego, or because this will be a good chance for Anaheim to get a closer look at some of their prospects who play in Europe.
Marcus Pettersson will be the lone representative from the 2014 draft. Given how much NHL experience he has, I was a little surprised by his inclusion, but I’m of the opinion that for young players, the more hockey the better. Since he played in 22 games with the Ducks last year, he should be among the better defensemen in the entire tournament. Since he’s already ahead of so many other prospects, I don’t expect him to play in all three games. This way, there is less chance of him getting injured and more time for other players to develop a little more
Julius Nattinen, Deven Sideroff, Troy Terry, and Jacob Larsson will be the players representing Anaheim’s 2015 draft class. Nattinen, Sideroff, and Larsson all spent last year with San Diego, while Terry got two games with the Ducks after his college career ended. Given that Anaheim is only bringing eight defensem, I think it likely that Larsson plays in all three games, and I think Terry could as well, while I believe that Nattinen and Sideroff will each get two games.
The Ducks will bring their entire 2016 draft class: Sam Steel, Max Jones, Josh Mahura, Jack Kopacka, Alex Dostie, and Tyler Soy. Steel, Jones, Mahura, and Kopacka will all turn pro this year, while Dostie will be entering his second year of professional hockey. I think that Steel and Jones could both play in all three games. I’m hoping that they get paired together and start to develop some chemistry together, similar to what Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry did in their early seasons. Soy was a big surprise to see on the camp’s roster, as he was unsigned by the Ducks and they no longer hold his rights, but it looks like he’ll have one more chance to impress and try to land himself a professional contract.
From the 2017 draft, Anaheim will bring Maxime Comtois, Antoine Morand, Kyle Olson, and Olle Eriksson Ek. I don’t think any of them will get in three games, as Comtois, Morand, and Olson all have another year of juniors ahead of them; I don’t think they will get as long of a look in this tournament. Still, they will probably all get in two games, and if one impresses enough, they could get a third game. Similar to Jones and Steel, I’m hoping that Comtois and Morand get a chance to play together. I expect Eriksson Ek to start one of the three games. I do think that he’s likely Anaheim’s top goaltending prospect, so if any of them are going to get more than 60 minutes of action, I think it will be him.
From Anaheim’s most recent draft, the Ducks will bring Benoit-Olivier Groulx, Isac Lundestrom, Hunter Drew, Lukas Dostal, and Roman Durny. Lundestrom is the most likely player from this group who will get in three games. Despite being just 18, Lundestrom has played in 87 SHL games over the past two seasons. If he has a great camp, he’s got an outside chance of making his NHL debut this season, though I think that probably doesn’t happen until a year from now. Still, I think the Ducks will want him to play as much as possible and see what he can do. Dostal and Durny will likely each start one game.
Anaheim’s free agent prospects are Giovanni Fiore, Mitch Hults, Kiefer Sherwood, Terrance Amorosa, Chris Forney, and Scott Moldenhauer. Fiore was easily the surprise of last year’s training camp, and he could end up playing in all three games as he pushes for more NHL time this season. Hults will be entering his second professional season, while this will be Sherwood’s first. Amorosa, Forney, and Moldenhauer all signed AHL deals with the Gulls this summer. This will be their first chance to start learning Anaheim and San Diego’s system.
The junior invites that the Ducks brought along are Justin Ducharme and Simon Benoit. Ducharme was a teammate of Morand this past season, while Benoit played for the Shawinigan Cataractes of the QMJHL. Both were passed over in this past draft and will be back in juniors this coming season. I’m not sure how much time each will get, but I think each will get at least one game, if not two.
As of right now, there has been no announcement about the games being aired or streamed, but when asked, the Ducks did say that they would have more info closer to the tournament. Hopefully the games will be available in some format, so we can all see these young players in action.
Click here to download the roster: Ducks 2018 Rookie Camp Roster
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August 25th, 2018