Sunday, May 24, 2009

Everything Is Just Ducky

The Anaheim Ducks went up against two giants in the playoffs and defeated the Sharks and took the Red Wings to game seven. At times last season, the Ducks looked as if they didn’t have enough skill to make it to the playoffs as they were being defeated handily by opponents. It came down to the leaders making the difference. Lead by some young, gritty forwards and sock solid defense, the Ducks managed to turn their season around into something special.

Ryan Getzlaf - Like a fine wine, Getzalf is only getting better with age. He showed this post season that he can lead his team through adversity and come out on top. With 91 points in 81 games, Getzlaf is a scoring machine. He is the Ducks go to guy in all situations and should be regarded as a top 10 player in your draft.

Corey Perry – It appeared he took a step back last season as his points didn’t reflect the impact he had on the ice. During the playoffs, Perry stepped up his game and owners should be pleased with his performance. Perry has long term keeper value and should be drafted in early rounds in your draft as he is young, gritty and close to a point per game.

Scott Niedermayer – Still a dominate player in the league, Nidermayer has the ability to change the speed of the game every shift he is out there. Playing in every game this season, Neidermayer finished with 59 points. If he comes back next season, he should be kept. He has the skill to repeat his totals without breaking a sweat.

Bobby Ryan – After playing a quarter of the season in the AHL, Ryan finally got his chance and made it count. A finalist for the Calder trophy, he looked to be a dominate player with and without the puck. Ryan has tremendous value as he has found a home playing on the top line. Draft him in the first 5 rounds or hang onto him if you already have him.

Teemu Selanne – Age and injuries have caught up to Selanne. Still possessing a bullet shot, this sniper has only one kick at the can left. Owners should be aware that Selanne is under contract for one more year and should be weary of drafting him too early.

Chris Pronger – One of the most hated players in the league, Pronger still has the skill and passion to be one of the best dmen in the game. With the cap problems in Anaheim, it does appear that Pronger will be playing elsewhere in September. He will be the top guy wherever he ends up and owners should look for more of the same for him.

Andrew Ebbett – With 32 points in 44 games, Ebbett came from out of the blue to center the second line of the Ducks. He showed grit and skill as he was able to keep up with the sppedsters on his wings. Ebbett should be looked at as a depth player at this point and can be had on waivers.

James Wisniewski – A trade deadline acquisition, Wisniewski fit right into the Ducks top four dmen. He has the ability to play on the powerplay and be solid defensively. Look for Wisniewski to upgrade on his 24 points in 48 games next season and should be drafted as a depth guy.

Ryan Whitney – Another key deadline acquisition, Whitney needed a change of scenery. An offensive, mobile dman that makes the occasional mistake defensively. Whitney will have the opportunity to play with some of the best defensemen in the game and it will only help him in the long-run. At this point I would not put Whitney in the keeper pile but you should take a long look at him at the draft next season if he falls into the mid rounds.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere – A sub-par season, hampered with personal issues found Giggy losing his starters position. There are many questions going into next seasons to where he will be playing as he does have a no trade clause. Owners may need to look elsewhere as it appears Giggy has more on his mind than hockey.

Jonas Hiller – Surpassing Giguere this season to take the starters role, Hiller looked very strong in the playoffs ousting the Sharks and taking the Wings to the brink. Hiller will be the top guy in Anaheim next year and owners should expect him to continue his strong play.


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