Ducks Finalize Opening Night Roster

Photo: AP

Earlier today the Ducks 23 man opening night roster was finalized.

At forward, Adam Henrique, Jakob Silfverberg, Rickard Rakell, Ryan Getzlaf, Max Comtois, Derek Grant, Troy Terry, Max Jones, Nic Deslauriers, Trevor Zegras, Sam Steel, Isac Lundestrom, Benoit-Olivier Groulx, and Mason McTavish made it.

On defense, Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson, Kevin Shattenkirk, Jamie Drysdale, Josh Mahura, and Greg Pateryn made it. Finally, in net, the Ducks will have John Gibson and Anthony Stolarz manning the pipes.

To get here, Anaheim placed Alexander Volkov, Sonny Milano, Jacob Larsson, and Sam Carrick on waivers. After being waived, Volkov, Milano, Larsson, and Carrick were all assigned to the Gulls. They also assigned Lukas Dostal, Simon Benoit, and Roman Durny to the minors, Olen Zellweger to the WHL, and released Ben Hutton from his tryout contract.

This will be the final year that Ryan Kesler spends the season on long term injured reserve.The Ducks currently have four rookies on their roster, as well as another six players under the age of 25. It’s great seeing so much young talent on the roster. Hopefully most of them will have impact seasons for Anaheim.

Surprises To The Roster

There were a few surprises with Anaheim’s final roster, but most of the roster was pretty much set before training camp even began. Unless they had a terrible training camp, Zegras and Drysdale were going to be on the roster. Zegras led the Ducks with seven points in five preseason games, including four on the powerplay. Drysdale recorded only one assist in four games, but looked like he belonged in the NHL.

It was good to see Mahura make the roster out of training camp. He’s been on the cusp of the NHL for the last few years, and while this doesn’t mean he’ll be with the team for the entire season, if he plays well enough, he will be.

It’s unfortunate that Benoit just missed the cut, but that decision was probably partially because of the fact that he did not have to pass through waivers to be assigned to the Gulls. I’m confident we’ll see him with the Ducks at some point this season.

The biggest surprise was McTavish making the roster. The Ducks’ top pick from the most recent draft had a strong training camp, finishing with one goal in four preseason games. Personally, I think he’ll be heading back to juniors before he plays in 10 games, but the NHL experience should be great for his development.

The other surprise rookie was Groulx. Coming into training camp, there was a lot of hope for him after a strong rookie season in San Diego, but it’s still a little surprising to see him beat out several veterans for the one of the final spots. Hopefully he’ll be able to stay in Anaheim for the entire season.

Even though he didn’t see any preseason action, it’s great that Zellweger stuck around for most of training camp. It tells me that the Ducks really wanted to work with him and give him a good idea of what he needs to work on to get to the NHL someday. I’m expecting him to get some preseason action next year. It’s also a good sign that Dostal spent so much time in Anaheim’s camp before heading to San Diego. I’ll be very surprised if we don’t see him in Anaheim at some point this season.

Biggest Disappointments

The two biggest disappointments were Larsson and Milano being waived. Larsson is a former first round pick, but has really struggled in the NHL. He’s had stretches where he’s really put it together, but not enough.

While Milano can score, he struggles on the defensive end of the ice. Still, given Anaheim’s lack of offense over the past couple seasons, Milano’s exclusion from the roster does stand out. He certainly can’t fix the Ducks’ offensive challenges by himself, but he could probably help out. I do think we’ll see him back in an Anaheim uniform, possibly quite soon, especially if the Ducks decide to send McTavish back to juniors before he hits the 10 game mark.

Similar to Milano and Benoit, I do think that we’ll see Volkov, Carrick, Larsson, and several others who were assigned to San Diego over the last week or so in Anaheim. For now, they’ll be the veterans in San Diego and counted on to help the Gulls have another strong season. Whether it’s because of injury or play, several players will be in both Anaheim and San Diego this season.

Opening night is just around the corner! The Ducks aren’t expected to be a good team this year, it’s a rebuilding year. The important thing is to give their young players as much experience as possible.

Recent Articles:

Prospect Update: Jamie Drysdale

Prospect Update: Trevor Zegras

Ranking Anaheim’s Prospect Positions

Anaheim’s Top 10 Rookies

Anaheim Prospects We Might See In The NHL

Ducks Make First Round of Roster Cuts

Ducks Make Two More Rounds of Cuts

Ducks Make Fourth Rounds of Cuts

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October 11th, 2021



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