Anaheim Ducks finished near the bottom of the Pacific Division last year, and the salary cap struggles following the buyout of Corey Perry’s contract aren’t helping. Ryan Kesler is also expected to be out for much of the season, as he is still recovering from hip surgery from nearly two years ago.
The Ducks are longshots for this year’s Stanley Cup title. They have a +6500 line to win in 2021. This brief guide will show what you can expect out of the Ducks and why they might not be the best time to pick this year. But they have some quality players to watch, including one of the best rookies for the coming season.
New Leadership In Anaheim
The Ducks acquired Kevin Shattenkirk from the Tampa Bay Lightning this offseason. The veteran defenseman will be there mainly for providing leadership to the team’s young players. He has an 82-game pace of nearly forty points last year, and he had thirteen points during the playoffs. He has also been consistent in getting twenty or more power-play points a year. You can expect Shattenkirk to be a valid contender this season.
A Sleeper Goaltender
The Ducks have one of the best young goaltenders around in John Gibson. He had a save percentage of nearly 92 percent in his career. He also got to the twenty-win mark last season. He is rising in popularity and will likely become a more appealing player to watch in the coming years.
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Young Players of Interest
The Ducks veterans will help bring the team’s younger players to the forefront. In addition to Kevin Shattenkirk, forward Rickard Rakell will support many of the team’s young offensive players. Ryan Getzlaf will also be a prominent player who will support young line partners Danton Heinen and Sonny Milano, although he will likely pair with Rakell while on the power play.
Rookie Trevor Zegras is expected to be a great rookie for the Ducks. Zegras averaged a point per game last year at Harvard, and he also had close to two points a game with the USA U20 team. Zegras will likely be on the third line to start the season, but he could be a top-six player as the season progresses. Expect him to be on the shortlist of possible Calder Trophy candidates this season.
Are the Ducks Worth Betting?
The Anaheim Ducks are rebuilding and aren’t worth the time for NHL betting, but they will be interesting to see in the future. The Ducks have plenty of young players ready to compete, but it may be a while before they get back to playoff contention. With the Ducks having a great farm system and time running down on the Corey Perry buyout, the future looks bright. But don’t expect the present to look as great as the future.
*Odds are correct at time of writing.
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Image by: Don Ramey Logan