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Ducks Assign 11 Players To San Diego
By Thomas Harrington
The Anaheim Ducks made their third round of roster cuts, assigning defenseman Nikolas Brouillard, forward Hunter Drew, forward Brent Gates, Jr., forward Max Golod, defenseman Josh Healey, goaltender Daniel Mannella, forward Black McLaughlin, forward Logan Nijhoff, forward Jacob Perreault, defenseman Luka Profaca, and forward Brayden Tracey to San Diego. With the Gulls’ training camp about to start, it was time for Anaheim to start assigning players to the AHL.
Brouillard, Gates, Healey, Mannella, Nijhoff, and Profaca are not signed to contracts with Anaheim, so it was only a matter of time before they were sent to San Diego. If they play well enough, there’s always a chance the Ducks could choose to sign them to a contract as they did with Simon Benoit a few years ago. Some of them could end up seeing time in the ECHL this season.
Golod has bounced between the AHL and ECHL for the past couple of seasons. He’s another player who was clearly going to start the year in the minors. He did not play in any preseason games and was scoreless in one game at the Rookie Tournament.
This is McLaughlin’s first preseason and training camp with Anaheim after four years at the University of Minnesota. He recorded an assist in one preseason game and had no points in three games at the Rookie Tournament. McLaughlin impressed me in his lone game, but given that he’s still adjusting to the pro game, he’s another one who was destined to be in the AHL this year.
Drew, Perreault, and Tracey all made their Anaheim debuts last year, with Drew playing in two games while Perreault and Tracey each played in one. Despite being assigned to San Diego so early in camp, I have no doubt that we’ll see all three back in Anaheim at various points this season. Drew played in one preseason game and scored one goal. Perreault was scoreless in one preseason game and scored a goal and two points in three games at the Rookie Tournament. Tracey was scoreless in two preseason games and scored two goals in three games at the Rookie Tournament.
This will be Drew’s fourth year playing professional hockey, and the switch to forward last year really paid dividends for him. Tracey made his professional debut in the 2020-2021 pandemic shortened season, but this will be his second full season of professional hockey. He looked much more comfortable with the Gulls last year than in his initial 12 games with them. Despite being the youngest of the three, this will be Perreault’s third professional season of hockey. All three were among San Diego’s scoring leaders last season, and should be again this season as well. One thing all three need to work on is consistency. Hopefully this will be a big season for at least one of them, if not all three.
Anaheim’s training camp roster has been cut down to 43 players: 23 forwards, 16 defensemen, and four goaltenders. At this point, I do think most of the final 23 spots are spoken for, but there’s definitely a couple of spots that players are still fighting for, primarily on the bottom pairing and the third and fourth lines.
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September 30th, 2022