Based on Matthew Pouliot’s series on Circling the Bases, I have decided restore the rosters for every NHL team. Like Pouliot, I have established some ground rules for my selections.
- Each team contains players they originally drafted or signed before any other NHL team. This includes players drafted and not signed, as well as European free agents coming over at an older age.
- I have chosen to leave retired players off the list, and lean toward players in the AHL rather than those deported (KHL, SEL, DEL, etc.).
Essentially I am choosing the best available players for a team to succeed in the current NHL season. All 30 teams will be covered, with grades assigned to forwards, defense and goaltending. After all 30 articles are written, they will be ranked in order. This series’ intent is to reward or shame NHL scouts.
The lineup for the Anaheim Ducks is as follows.
The forward core for the Ducks is extremely deep. Their top 9 combines skill, speed and toughness making a combination that few other teams have rivaled. In addition to the Ducks great drafting, they successfully signed and implemented undrafted free agents into their roster.
Bobby Ryan – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Paul Kariya – Andy MacDonald – Dustin Penner
Chris Kunitz – Matt Cullen – Joffrey Lupul
Drew Miller – Ryan Shannon – Trent Hunter
Ex. Ryan Carter, Matt Belesky, Andrew Ebbett, PA Parenteau
The top line, which ironically is the Ducks’ current first line, produces one of the most effective lines in hockey. In addition, the second line of Kariya – MacDonald – Penner features a speed/skill element with a tough power forward able to bang home the garbage goals. The bottom six consists of several defensively responsible players, most of which could play on any third line in hockey. Trent Hunter could be a future Selke winner and he is relegated to the fourth line.
Despite the abundance of NHL forward developed by the Ducks system, the scouts make up for it by barely developing six NHL defenders.
Ladislav Smid – Ruslan Salei
Shane O’Brien – Jordon Leopold
Brendan Mikkelson – Mark Popovic
The group produced hardly could fill out an NHL D-corps. Brendan Mikkelson and Mark Popovic are currently bottom pairing players on bottom feeding teams, raising the question of whether or not they would cut it on a more competitive team. Shane O’Brien could handle top 4 duty, however he is also better suited on the last pairing due to mental gaffes. Both Leopold and Salei are adequate defenders although likely past their primes, meanwhile Smid has first pairing potential but is unproven. Niclas Havelid returned overseas before this season, he would slightly improve this weakness.
Like their forward group, the Ducks developed high-end talent in this area.
Bryzgalov is among the league leaders in GAA this year, while Hiller proved himself last year fully capable of backstopping a playoff team. Although neither tender is elite, they both are consistent and adequate starters which should see a ton of goal support.
I hope you enjoyed reading this, I will attempt to get all 30 articles done as soon as possible. Feel free to leave some feedback!