With the NEFHL draft taking place about a month ago, the Anaheim Ducks still can't believe just how fortunate they got. The trade with the Philadelphia Flyers now looks like this. To Philadelphia went Johnathan Toews, and going to Anaheim went Alexis Lafreniere, Joel Farabee, and Kyle Capobianco. With trades like these, it will only be a matter of time before Anaheim flies to the top.
Alexis Lafreniere is the crown jewel of the draft, many experts expect him to not only play in the NHL next year, but to do it on a top line as well. One thing is for certain, help is on the way. "We fully expect him to be our franchise forward, we know he's very capable of being a point per game player and reliable in his own zone. Where he ends up in the NHL is still up in the air as the lottery is on Monday August tenth." said Ryan Clarey.
Player Comparison: Jamie Benn/Johnathan Huberdeau
A few spots later they were able to pick Saginaw Spirit forward Cole Perfetti despite having more than a couple concerns about his game. While Perfetti oozes offense and posses not only an elite shot and play making, it's his hockey sense that makes him worth the gamble. Many scouts have said that his IQ is on par with Lafreniere and maybe even has a higher one. With all prospects there is a downside however, his skating. Many people are worried his skating won't translate but when you have a high IQ you can adjust and slow the game down. The other concern is his defensive play and size. Anaheim is very lucky though, as all three deficiencies can be worked on and mended. Nikita Kucherov had very similar concerns when he was drafted also. Perfetti has All Star potential, will he get there though?
Player Comparison: Patrick Kane-lite/ Nikita Kucherov
Rounding out the 1st round for Anaheim they selected Maverik Bourque, he was picked for a multitude of reasons. The biggest being that he is a center and has exceptional play making potential. If he wants to play center in the NHL his skating will also have to be worked on and his strength as well. While Anaheim doesn't expect him to be a number one center, they do see him as a middle six player that can play multiple positions and in multiple scenarios as well.
Player Comparison: Travis Konency/ Braydon Point without the elite defense
Notable later picks:
Jean-Luc Foudy, while some may think he was drafted a little high we viewed a lot of his tapes and his skating ability is tops in the entire draft. Anaheim is looking for another Andrew Cogliano type. A guy who can play in all situations and if the offense comes then great but they have other ideas in store him as of this moment.
Player Comparison: Andrew Cogliano/Darren Helm
Daniil Guschin, or "Goose" if you will but you're probably saying who? This Russian speedster played in the USHL for the Muskegon team the past two years before being picked 4th overall in the OHL import draft. He was just over a point per game. The Ducks hurried to draft Guschin when they realized he was at a great risk to not last much longer. "He has a tremendous amount of speed when he's engaged and wants to use it. Mix in some very good hands and a good shot and you have a promising prospect. He of course is only 5'8 so size concerns, and defensive play are at the top of the list to be questioned. In a perfect world he lines up on the second line with Maverik Bourque." Said Clarey
Player Comparison: Johnny Gaudreau
The Anaheim Ducks have been working hard to retool their prospect pool and are continuing to make it grow as all eyes will be on the NHL tomorrow for the lottery draft and then in October for the real draft. One things for certain, the Ducks expect this version of "Maverik" and "Goose" to fly into stardom together and never look back. Fortunately for Guschin we don't the hit eject button in Anaheim.