In the fist edition of Anaheim Ducks News & Rumors, I’ll look at the Ducks coming to an agreement with a new ECHL team, speculate whether the Ducks’ could be in on Brock Boeser, look at the plans surrounding OC Vibe and the NHL arena rankings, Troy Terry’s new extension, and how Trevor Zegras is ranked as the second best NHL prospect.
Troy Terry Signs Extension
The former University of Denver standout has signed a three-year contract extension with the Ducks. Terry was slated to become a restricted free-agent this off-season. After an impressive debut into professional hockey during the 2018-19 season with Anaheim and San Diego, Terry failed to take another step forward last season. He finished with four goals and 15 points in 47 games played with the Ducks, while posting 16 points in 14 games played with the San Diego Gulls.
After being drafted in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, impressive performances for Denver and at the World Junior Championship heaped high expectations onto the Terry’s shoulders. At 22 years old he still has plenty of time to develop into the player Ducks’ fans were expecting. The contract extension runs through the 2022-23 season with the average annual value coming in a $1.45 million. He’ll still be a restricted free-agent at the end of this new deal.
Ducks Reach ECHL Agreement With Tulsa
It’s been two seasons since the Ducks have had an ECHL affiliation after working with the Utah Grizzlies from 2013-2018. They’ve now signed a three-year agreement with the Tulsa Oilers. It’s a move that isn’t that surprising, as the Ducks have been loaning players to the Oilers for the last two seasons, including prospects such as defenseman Steven Ruggiero, forward Devin Sideroff, and goaltender Olle Eriksson Ek.
With the San Diego Gulls likely to have another full roster for the 2020-21 season, it’s a move the sees the Ducks further bolster their development system since they’ll be able to send players down to Tulsa to get regular playing time. The Ducks organization is clearly happy with what Oilers’ head coach Rob Murray has done and this new three-year affiliation agreement is evidence.
“I’m extremely pleased to have Anaheim as our main affiliate. In all my years in the ECHL, I have never had an affiliation agreement longer than one year. This being a three-year affiliation really shows their commitment to the Tulsa Oilers, and I’m looking forward to it being a great partnership.”
Tulsa Oilers Head Coach on three-year affiliation agreement with the Anaheim Ducks – ECHL.com
With potentially six goaltenders on their depth chart next season, it’s the area that stands to benefit the most in terms of development. Ryan Miller’s status is questionable on if he’ll return for another year, but Anthony Stolarz, Kevin Boyle, Olle Eriksson Ek, Roman Durny, and potentially Lukas Dostal will be looking for somewhere to play next year.
Ducks and Boeser Trade Rumors
Well, we’re all done with the Eichel trade rumors now, right? Why not stir the pot some more with Brock Boeser apparently on the market. A tweet from Rick Dhaliwal, contributor to TSN 1040, made the rounds on July 10 that fueled speculation on if the Vancouver Canucks could be willing to trade him.
Our very own Matthew Zator speculated the Canucks could be exploring this option one day prior to this tweet, so I’ve got to give credit where credit is due. Although no teams have been directly linked with Boeser in any potential deals, it’s no surprise that writers and tweeters from almost every team have had their say on what it would take to bring him to their respective teams. I’m no different here, so let’s take a look at the Ducks’ case for acquiring Boeser.
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For starters, the Canucks are “rivals” in the sense that they play in the same division. It would be surprising to see them move a player of Boeser’s caliber to a team they might have to face in the early rounds of the playoffs for the foreseeable future.
Despite the injury concerns, he certainly fits the mold of what type of player the Ducks would be looking to acquire. With Rickard Rakell’s decline, they don’t have a consistent 30-goal threat on the roster. Even though Boeser has never hit that number, he’s hit 29 and 26 goals in seasons where he’s played 62 and 69 games respectively. So, the potential is definitely there for him to be a reliable 30-goal scorer as long as he can shake his injury troubles.
In any potential deal, the Canucks would have to be shedding salary for it to make any sense. The only reason we are even considering the idea of a Boeser trade is because of the cap predicament Vancouver has locked themselves into through the contracts given to Loui Eriksson, Brandon Sutter, and Tyler Myers.
What does that mean for Anaheim? Well, it means that Cam Fowler and Adam Henrique aren’t likely options unless that Ducks are willing to absorb one of those aforementioned contracts. More realistic deals would stem around Rakell, Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson, who all make less than Boeser. I’d also include some cost-effective youngsters on this list in Troy Terry and Josh Mahura if the Canucks wanted to shed most of Boeser’s salary.
While a trade between Anaheim and Vancouver isn’t likely to happen, it’s a move that both should be considering. Anaheim is in desperate need of a consistent goal-scoring threat, while Vancouver needs to move some money before they need to sign Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes to long-term deals. Plus, it would just be nice to see Boeser in an Anaheim Ducks uniform.
OC Vibe and NHL Arena Rankings
Although the OC Vibe news is a few weeks old at this point, it ties in nicely with the recent NHL arena rankings from The Athletic. Honda Center finished 25th on that list and it really isn’t a shock to me that it’s not any higher.
For those who haven’t heard yet, the project is run by Anaheim Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli and its first phase of completion is slated for 2024. (from ‘Ducks submit proposal for OC Vibe, described by Anaheim official as ‘L.A. Live on steroids’,’ LA Times, 06/24/2020) It features a 115-acre entertainment, office and residential development that is the model for most new arenas in any major sport. Similar to the Ice District that surrounds Rogers Place in Edmonton.
Although the plan doesn’t include any renovations to Honda Center itself, it will create an entertainment destination surrounding the arena that will be much more appealing than what’s there currently. The current situation was best described by senior writer for The Athletic Fluto Shinzawa:
“The Honda Center is just one of those buildings that gets plunked down in an open space in a community that’s not really a community and an NHL team calls it home.”
(from ‘NHL arena rankings: Grading every team’s rink from best to worst’, The AthleticNHL – 8/7/20)
For the Samueli’s and the Ducks this has to be the best case possible for attracting premier NHL events such as the All-Star Game and the NHL Draft. Events that both the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings have hosted within the last five years, while the Ducks are still waiting for their first.
Zegras Lands Second on Wheeler’s Prospect Rankings
It’s the annual piece we’ve come to expect over the last several years from The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler. His Top 50 Drafted NHL Prospect Rankings were released and the lone Duck on the list was Trevor Zegras, who came in second behind Buffalo Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens. Drafted ninth overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, Zegras is no stranger to lists such as these and for good reason. He’s easily the most exciting prospect the Ducks have had straight out of the draft since Bobby Ryan. Wheeler had this to say about Zegras in his article:
Zegras’ ability to break open a game with a flash of brilliance from his stick to a teammate’s is unparalleled among his peers. He’s more creative. He sees the play develop differently. And, above all else, he’s confident. There’s no hesitation. He doesn’t wonder if that flat, hard pass through two sets of legs will reach its intended target, or if that leading backhand saucer pass over a stick will land flat enough. He knows that they will and he goes out and executes them.
(from ‘Wheeler: The top 50 drafted NHL prospects ranking, 2020 edition’, The AthleticNHL – 6/7/20)
The team signed Zegras to an entry-level contract back in March, but fans will have to wait until the beginning of the 2020-21 season before they are able to see him pull on a Ducks’ sweater. (from ‘Ducks sign 2019 first-round pick Trevor Zegras to a three-year entry-level contract,’ LA Times, 03/27/2020) Trust me when I say that it’ll be worth the wait when he finally does.
Even with the Ducks missing the playoffs, there will still be plenty to discuss from now until the start of the 2020-21 season. Stay tuned to The Hockey Writers for more updates, news and rumors as we continue this series throughout the offseason.
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