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Ducks Draft Day 2 Recap
By Thomas Harrington
The Anaheim Ducks began day two of the draft with eight picks: 33rd overall, 59th overall, 60th overall, 65th overall, 85th overall, 97th overall, 129th overall, and 161st overall. The Ducks kept all eight picks and did not make any moves during the draft.
With their picks, Anaheim chose left winger Nico Myatovic 33rd overall, center Carey Terrance 59th overall, goaltender Damian Clara 60th overall, right winger Coulson Pitre 65th overall, right winger Yegor Sidorov 85th overall, defenseman Konnor Smith 97th overall, defenseman Rodwin Dionicio 129th overall, and defenseman Vojtech Port 161st overall. Overall, Anaheim chose two centers, one goaltender, one left winger, two right wingers, and three defensemen at the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.
Given Anaheim’s depth on defense at the prospect level, it was unsurprising to see the Ducks go forward-heavy early in the draft and not pick any defensemen until the fourth round. The Ducks really focused on the Canadian Junior ranks this year, as seven of their nine picks came from the WHL or OHL. After taking several players from the QMJHL last year, the Ducks took none from that league this time around.
Nico Myatovic 33rd Overall
Myatovic plays for the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL. Over the past two seasons, his production doubled from 28 points in 67 games in the 2021-2022 season to 60 points in 68 games this past season. He played on both the powerplay and penalty kill units, and in virtually every situation on every line for them. He’s another large prospect and uses his size effectively. While Myatovic will likely never be an elite scorer at the NHL level, he’s the kind of player who can excel in several different situations. As long as he can continue to be an adaptable player, he’s someone who could make the NHL in a variety of roles. Expect him to spend the next two years in the WHL before turning pro and likely joining San Diego in the 2025-2026 season
Carey Terrance 59th Overall
Terrance plays for the Erie Otters of the OHL and was one of their alternate captains this past season. After scoring 10 goals in 62 games in the 2021-2022 season, he scored 30 goals in 67 games this past season. Similar to Myatovic, he’s another player who was used in all situations by his team. He’s a good skater and athlete but needs to work on his overall vision on the ice. He currently plays center, but if he makes it to the NHL it will probably be as a winger. He should spend the next two years in the OHL before looking to join the Gulls in the 2025-2026 season.
Damian Clara 60th Overall
Clara is incredibly tall, standing at 6’6”, and he played for Farjestad BK J20 in the J20 Nationell last season. He had a 17-17 record, with a 2.79 goals against average and a .903 save percentage. He also played in a couple of games in the HockeyAllsvenskan for BIK Karlskoga. This coming season he’ll be playing for Brynas IF in the HockeyAllsvenskan. Clara is one of the few Italian players to be drafted by an NHL team. He’s a strong athlete but can be inconsistent. He feels like a bit of a reach, but Anaheim has a number of other goaltending prospects so he doesn’t need to be rushed. Expect him to spend possibly several years overseas before coming to North America.
Coulson Pitre 65th Overall
Pitre plays for the Flint Firebirds of the OHL. He scored 25 goals and 60 points in 59 games this past season, and followed that up with five points in six playoff games. While he can score, Pitre is probably better known for his physical play and rarely passes up an opportunity to lay a hit on an opponent. He possesses the type of skill set who could work very well in a third line role with offensive upside. Expect him to spend the next two years in the OHL before turning pro and joining the Gulls.
Yegor Sidorov 85th Overall
Sidorov is an overage player who plays for the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL. He scored 23 goals and 35 points in the 2021-2022 season and jumped up to 40 goals and 76 points this past season, along with 19 points in 16 playoff games. He’s a good skater with a good shot, though he needs to drive the net a little more. He’ll likely spend one to two years in the WHL before hopefully joining the Gulls.
Konnor Smith 97th Overall
Smith was the first defenseman the Ducks took. He plays for the Peterborough Petes of the OHL. Not known for his offensive ability, Smith is a big project, standing at 6’6”. He was a ninth round pick by the Petes and has become a regular defenseman for them, putting up 15 points in 65 games last year. If he can continue to learn to use his size effectively, he could become a solid bottom pairing defenseman. He’ll spend at least a couple of years in juniors, if not an overage season too, before he tries to turn pro.
Rodwin Dionicio 129th Overall
Dionicio is an overage pick who played for both the Niagara IceDogs and Windsor Spitfires of the OHL last season. He had seven points in 17 games with Niagara, but things really took off for him after his trade to Windsor, where he recorded 43 points in 33 games. He’s a very creative defenseman but needs to improve his skating. He’ll spend more time in the OHL and if he can develop enough, he could turn pro.
Vojtech Port 161st Overall
Port played for the Red Deer Rebels and Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL last season. He only played in two games for Red Deer and was scoreless, but had 17 points in 46 games for Edmonton. As Anaheim’s final pick, he’s definitely something of a project, but he also won’t be 18 until August, so he has plenty of room to improve. He’ll spend the next few years in the WHL, and if he develops properly, he could join the Gulls when his junior career ends.
With a strong defensive prospect system already in place, the Ducks really focused on forwards these past two days. They drafted one elite center in Leo Carlsson, and then several forwards who all have scoring ability. Despite the focus at forward, the Ducks did take three defensemen late who are all projects but we’ll see what they become in the years to come. Their lone goaltending selection is an interesting one and he’ll hopefully pan out eventually. Carlsson is the only player picked in the last two days who we may see in Anaheim next season. The rest should spend at least a year or two in juniors before moving on to the professional ranks. Overall, this looks like it could be a very good draft for Anaheim, though the full impact of it won’t be known for several years.
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June 29th, 2023