Anaheim Ducks

Anaheim Ducks: Why Was Perry Bought Out, And What’s Next For Him?

The Anaheim Ducks have officially bought out former star player Corey Perry’s $8.625M contract. They will have to spend, over the next four years, the following amounts: $2.625M, $6.625M, $2M, and $2M, in that order.

Perry’s Prior Season’s

Perry has racked up quite the hardware and accolades over his 14 year career, which includes a Stanley Cup (2007), 2 All-Star Game appearances (2010-11, 2013-14), 1 Hart trophy (2010-11) and 1 Maurice Richard trophy (2010-11). He also finished in the top 25 for Selke votes in the 2010-11 season, as well as a top 15 vote for the Hart trophy (2013-14).

2013-14 season to 2017-18 season

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Perry had a fantastic 2013-14 season, where he played 81 games, while scoring 43 goals and racking up 39 assists for 82 points, over a point per game. But, that would mark the last time in his career that he would hit the point per game mark. In 2014-15, he managed a decent 55 points in 67 games, with 33 goals, maintaining his goal scoring tendencies. But he has yet to top 30 goals, or even 20 goals, since the 2015-16 season, where he had 34 goals in 82 games. He had 62 points that year as well, the highest point total since the great 13-14 season. Over the next two seasons, Perry combined for 36 goals and 66 assists for 102 points in 153 games. While that may seem good, it’s his goal scoring that is way down. Perry has had more goals than assists 7 times in his career, prior to those two seasons, and for him to have about half the total of goals to assists shows his game deteriorating quickly.

What has changed?

Durability has never really been a problem for Perry. Subtracting his rookie year, he never missed more than 12 games up until the 2013-14 season, where he played 67 of 82 games (missed 15 games). He followed up that 13-14 season by playing back to back 82 game seasons, before missing 11 games in 17-18. Then, last season happened…

The dreadful 2018-19 season

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Perry played 31 games last year. He missed 51 games. He played less games last year, than he did in the lockout 2012-13 season, where there were only 48 total games, and he played 44 of them. However, there is still hope for Perry, and while the buyout makes sense financially, he is still a good player.

The Hope

Yes, Perry only played 31 games, but he did put up 6 goals and 4 assists for 10 points, on a team where scoring points was not common, sorry Ducks. You’d like to think that he would produce better on a stronger roster, so that’s one thing to look at. But what about durability? Yes, he is 34 years old, and every injury is a big one in his decline, but he is only two years separated from back to back 82 game seasons. Plus, as I pointed out earlier, durability has never been a problem up until last season, and maybe it won’t happen again, or at the very least, not as badly as it was. Plus, this was Perry’s unluckiest of seasons on ice, as shown by his PDO. For those who don’t know what PDO, it ultimately quantifies a players luck, and Perry was, for the first time in his career, below a 100 PDO, meaning ultimately, for the first time he was unluckier then the normal NHL player. With that in mind, maybe he could have potted 15 points, instead of 10? That may not seem like much, but let’s say he has 15 points in the 31 games he played, that would give him a points per game of 0.48. His career PPG is 0.79, and that tallies in some of his best seasons, and he will not magically go back to his former self. But on a better team, with better luck, a 0.48 PPG total can round out to be a 39 to 40 point season, over 82 games. That would be solid for a third line winger, for sure.

What would he cost, and where would he go?

It’s not easy to predict what exactly he would cost, but after being bought out, he must know his career is coming down to the end. He certainly wants another shot at the cup, and he knows damn well that competitive teams don’t have a lot of room to work with financially. He’s already made over $82M in career earnings, so I would assume money isn’t a deal breaker. So, with all that put together, I would guess that he would get anywhere from $1M-$2M on a one year deal. Where he would wind up is the tricky part. It’s very unlikely he goes to Tampa Bay, Toronto, Winnipeg, San Jose and Vegas. There’s a slight chance he goes to Boston, but that all depends heavily on what Charlie McAvoy garners. Likely destinations would be Dallas, Calgary, Montreal, Florida, Buffalo, New York Islanders, and Carolina. I would assume he would lean more towards the Stars, Flames, Islanders and Hurricanes, but the Sabres, Panthers and Canadiens are certainly playoff contenders, with the right pieces in place.

All stats via hockey-reference

Buy-out/Contract info via Capfriendly

Featured Image Photo Credit – Nikos Michals

NHL Draft Profile: Spencer Knight

Spencer Knight is the top goalie among most draft aficionados. He was the unheralded backbone of one of the best USNTDP of all-time. His ability to stay calm, cool and collected paired with maybe the best athleticism for any player in the draft combine to make Knight a top prospect in the 2019 NHL Draft.

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Name: Spencer Knight

Date of Birth: April 19, 2001

Nationality (Place of Birth): American (Darien, CT, USA)

Hieght: 6’3″

Weight: 198lbs

Catches: Left

Position: G

Rankings

Ranked #12 by TSN/McKenzie

Scouting Report

The top goaltender in the draft has been outstanding all year. He has shown all the tools that talent evaluators look for in a young goaltender. His mental make-up is strong and he does an excellent job staying poised. He doesn’t panic or get flustered after allowing a weak goal. He stays focused and is able to see around screens because he shows great awareness of the play. The American goaltender does an excellent job at keeping his back upright and keeping a solid base to ensure that he’s using his entire 6’3″ frame in the net. In the video below, you can see Knight hold his ground despite the Finnish players best attempt at poking the puck free.  

Throughput the year, Knight showed that his maturity was well beyond his years. Often times with young goalies, sustained pressure from the opposition can lead to a break down in positioning and cause the young netminder to allow a goal that he would normally save. This isn’t often the case for Knight. He is able to harness his poise and focus in on tracking the puck while staying in good position. His eyes stay locked in on the puck and he is able to make multiple saves by kicking his pads out and closing down on the puck despite good movement from the opposing team. The video below if a perfect example of Knights ability to keep focused and dialed in on the puck. 

 

At the draft combine, many came away with the realization that Knight was among the best athletes in the draft. Knight shows his impressive athleticism with his ability to move laterally with precision and recover on plays that become a scramble in front of him. His lateral movement is extremely crisp and he rarely overshoots his positioning. He comes across the crease with a strong push. His ability to keep his upper body high while sliding over helps him stay big and cover the net as he transitions. Below you can see Knight unable to corral the loose puck in front of him but quickly recovers and uses his athleticism to make an outstanding save. 

Lower body strength and stability is an asset that goalies need and Spencer Knight has both. The future franchise netminder has the strength to keep his pad down and pinned to either post while still being able to stay upright and actively following the puck. The lower body strength aids in his push off from post-to-post and allows him to kick out his pads during a slide. As you can see below, Knight is able to use the aforementioned lower body strength to push off the right post and explode towards the recipient of the pass. His strong core allows him to stay upright long enough to make the marvelous save. 

When it comes to positioning, Knight is consistently stable. He plays a mature game which makes him far ahead of the curve for draft eligible goaltenders. The goalkeeper does a good job at absorbing the puck into his chest and not allowing egregious rebound more often than not. His reflexes have developed further throughout the year and he’s been able to track and catch shots quite well. When the puck is shot to his blocker side, he often deflects the puck into the corner or up into the net depending on the situation. Knight is able to track a pass through the middle of the ice and not over commit on a slide. He stops in perfect position and is able to make the save with ease as you can see in the video below.  

What the Detractors Say

While no 18-year-old goaltender is perfect, Spencer Knight does everything you’d like a goaltender to do. One of the few aspects of Knight’s game that scouts have picked on is his tendency to play fairly deep in his net at times. While he comes out to challenge shooters in one-on-one scenarios, he has sunken into his net at times during sustained pressure. While this hasn’t been an issue at junior level, it could become an issue at the next level as the athletic goalie moves forward. His athleticism helps him make up for the depth in which he plays at but he could stand to play a little higher in his crease.

Preseason Outlook

Having played in 14 games with the USNTDP U18 team a year early, many expected Knight to put on a show for the 2018-19 season. His positioning and athleticism allowed him to play up a level with success. Coming into the year, the young goaltender was considered the top goalie and he did nothing to change that fact.

Video courtesy of Justy Power YouTube

USNTDP Success

The top-tier prospect in net was outstanding this year on a stacked USNTDP team. With the high-powered offence, Knight certainly received his fair share of goal support but there was a number of times where Knight would put on a goaltending clinic. Early in the season Knight put together a masterful performance against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, ranked third in the NCAA at the time. Showing off all of his tools, this game signified his dominance and showed that he can read a play and play good positional hockey at a young age. In the video below, Knight makes an outstanding save on a slap shot from the circle. He shows excellent reflexes with the glove stage. 

Knight continued to put together good performances against both USHL and NCAA competition. He finished the year with a save percentage of .903 against USHL opponents but a .913 overall if you include the tougher NCAA schedule as well. This showed that he was able to play up to the competition and he benefitted from facing more steady work rather than the games in the USHL where his team often outshot the opposition by a wide margin.

Strong U18 World Championships

The world stage was where Knight shone brightest this year. At the U18 World Championships this year, Knight was able to dominate his peers. In his six games at the tournament, he allowed just 1.51 goals against average and had a sparkling .936 save percentage. However it was the save that he made that showed he would be an NHL goaltender sooner than many thought coming into the year.

Spencer Knight will be taken…

Somewhere in the 15-25 range most likely but there’s a chance he goes slightly earlier. Goalies are seldom drafted in the first round anymore but Knight is destined to be the exception. He’s one of the best American goaltending prospects in years and projects extremely well. His athleticism and mental fortitude will serve him well as he hopes to take the next step at Boston College next year. He is likely to step into a prominent role in the program despite being a freshman. His first task will be taking full control of the net and continuing to develop with the help of his Boston College athletic staff. The future franchise goaltender should, and likely will, be selected in the middle of the first round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

For more on the NHL, prospects and the NHL Draft, follow me here at @TheTonyFerrari on twitter!

All stats and information provided by Elite ProspectsDobber Prospects and NHL.com

Puck77

NHL Mock Draft Part Six: Picks 26-31

Part six has arrived, and it is the final part of my mock National Hockey League entry draft series.

 

26th Overall Pick: Calgary Flames select Albin Grewe, Right/Left Winger, Djurgardens IF J20, SuperElit

Grewe, a Marsta, Sweden native, stands at 6’0, 187 pounds. He is thought highly by some, and not so much by others. I am one who really likes his game, whereas he has been ranked as low as 88th and as high as 25th, with the average ranking of 50.8.

Playing on a junior league in Sweden (U20), while other first round Swedish talent played in the SHL (top league), is a hit on his value. But, he played well against the U20 competition, with 13 goals and 21 assists (34 points) in 25 games. This play earned him a call up to the SHL for the main Djurgardens IF squad for 15 games, but he failed to produce a single point there, another hit on his value.

However, he has some really intriguing values, which is why someone like myself might have him in as first round talent. He makes himself be seen. His skating isn’t pretty, but it is effective, as he is quick and can keep up with the pace of the game. Once his stride can be developed more smoothly, he can be a real good skater in the future.

Grewe is a monster in the offensive zone, in a sense that he is constantly moving and getting to the dirty areas. He welcomes board battles as well. He has a really good shooting ability, as well as fine passing ability. Here’s the downside to his offensive skills; he doesn’t read the play well, and often turns the puck over for passing into traffic or shooting into a lane that was closing in, and got blocked.

He is a fantastic forechecker and backchecker, all over his opponents. However, he does get into penalty trouble, which is reflected in his penalty minutes last season (102 in total in SuperElit, 16 in SHL).

Defensively, he plays physical along the boards, and steps up to block shots as well. Next season, he will likely play against men in the SHL, and his physical game will likely be stunted due to his fairly light weight. But this is good news for Grewe, as he will learn quickly that, at just 187 pounds, you can’t play that style of play, and you must bulk up.

 

Future Role: A lot depends on next season, and how he adjusts his game, as well as working to bulk up. All-in-all he is a generally safe pick, as his style safely projects as a bottom-six winger at the very worst. But he has the potential to be a special player, with his good shot and physical style. He needs to work on his mental game for that to happen, and study hard for a better hockey IQ, and that is very possible.

 

27th Overall Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning select Samuel Poulin, Right/Left Wing, Sherbrooke Phoenix, QMJHL

Before I break down Poulin, what don’t the Lightning need? A small forward, as their forward core is small already. A defenseman, as they have a lot of young guys already in their system or at the NHL level. A goaltender, as they have Andrei Vasilevskiy. So, what do they need?

A big forward, with high upside, because a lack of size for the forward core led to Josh Anderson of the Columbus Blue Jackets to just bully Tampa in the playoffs. So, who’s available?

6’2, 208 pound Samuel Poulin is. He has the best frame for a player at this stage of the draft that would not be considered an egregious reach. Wearing the “A” on his sweater for Sherbrooke last season, Poulin registered 29 goals and 47 assists (76 points) in 67 games. He has been ranked as early as 23rd and as late as 33rd, with his average ranking at 26.3. Poulin is a fast skater, but doesn’t have great edgework. There are times he over skates the puck or puck carrier, and doesn’t stop or turn in time to get a second whack at it. Those are things that could be fixed, as the Lightning have a great skating coach in Barb Underhill.

In the offensive zone, Poulin is always supporting the puck, and has great vision, finding open areas to get a pass from a teammate. He is also creative, with solid stickhandling skills, though he tends to play a simpler game. He loves parking himself in front of the opposing goalie, looking for tips and rebounds. He has a great pass, with lots of power behind it, as well as real good accuracy, making them difficult to break up.

He has a hard shot, but tends to shoot into the goalie at times, and must work on his accuracy. He struggles at times reading the play and trying to make the right decision, finding himself forcing passes or shots. He is dangerous on the forecheck, as he causes a lot of havoc and forces plenty of turnovers. He backchecks like a mad man, as he is a fast skater, despite his big frame.

In the defensive zone, he supports the defense down low, and is constantly pressuring the forwards. However, he very easily gets caught up in hounding the puck, and can go from his area of the ice (the right side) all the way across to the far side and back, and if there’s a lack of communication, can really mess with the opposite winger on his team. That’s something that can be coached however, but it is still a glaring problem in his game. He doesn’t back away from board battles, and does have a gritty side to his game, though he is much more disciplined than Grewe.

The problem is, he isn’t as safe of a pick as Grewe. He would get eaten alive at the NHL level if he doesn’t work on his stops and starts, as well as his tight turns. That alone could set him back far enough where he doesn’t make the NHL roster.

 

Future Role: A boom or bust prospect, with less bust and more boom, has a very raw skillset, but does a lot of things right for a prospect. If he works out the minor details and puts a ton of skating work in, he could thrive in the Lightning system, who are in desperate need of a big forward, and be a future elite winger. He is more likely going to be a middle-six winger, but the ceiling is still high for him at the moment.

 

28th Overall Pick: Carolina Hurricanes select Jakob Pelletier, Left Wing, Moncton Wildcats, QMJHL

Pelletier is an undersized skater, standing at just 5’9, and 160 pounds. The Quebec City native has been ranked as early as 20 and as late as 43, with his average ranking at 32.6. Due to his smaller stature, he has blazing speed. He’s able to change speeds on the go, making it difficult for defenseman to match him and defend him on the rush. He has the edgework to make quick cuts, which is even more difficult for defenseman to defend against, which makes him such a special skater. He is also very strong on his skates and can hold his own in board battles, and fight for position in front of the net.

Going back to his dynamic skating ability, defenders tend to give him more space, so they don’t get burned wide, but he is a great passer, and takes advantage of that space. He has good stickhandling to pair with his skating, and he has the ability to make a quick move to fool a defender at full speed to open up a passing lane, which he then sends the puck through to an open teammate for a scoring chance. He has great vision and a high hockey IQ to read the play quickly and find ways to beat a defense with his deceptive foot work and high end passing abilities.

He has a decent shot, and has a knack for beating defenders to an open spot and letting the puck fly, though it is far from being NHL ready. One thing that stands out is the fact that he is always in the play. He is usually involved in board battles, and he forechecks hard, really wanting the puck on his stick. He can frustrate defenders and cause them to make mistakes with that style, but again, he is too small at the moment for that style to work, as a guy like Dustin Byfuglien will send a message to him with a huge hit if he tries that style in the NHL. So he must bulk up for his aggressive style to translate.

His defensive game is weak. He plays a style similar to Poulin, where he races around the defensive zone for the puck, which leads him out of position. But he is smaller than Poulin, which means he has a smaller reach and can’t break up as many passes. He also struggles helping his defense down low, as he is smaller than most and cannot contain his opponents. The effort is there, but he needs size and more awareness for it to truly work. He was compared to Brad Marchand in his style of play, by Ben Kerr of LastWordOnHockey, which I truly agree with. He is a great offensive winger (had 39 goals and 50 assists for 89 points in 65 games with Moncton) but lacks the necessary size, currently.

 

Future Role: Has the offensive tools, just needs to smooth out his game a bit there. His defensive game is lacking, but if he bulks up, most things will work out naturally, as well as with good coaching. He will likely slot in as a second line winger at the next level, but is a few years away.

 

29th Overall Pick: Anaheim Ducks select Pavel Dorofeyev, Left/Right Wing, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, KHL

Dorofeyev is a tall winger, standing at 6’0, but is very light, and must bulk up, at 163 pounds. The Nizhny Tagil, Russia native has been ranked as early as 16th and as late as 82nd (thanks Bob McKenzie) with his average ranking at 37.

Dorofeyev doesn’t have the speed to beat defenders wide, but he can keep up with the pace of the game. He has great edgework however, which allows him to be shifty with the puck, and hard to contain in an area by a single defenseman. Despite his lankiness, he has good balance, but it isn’t nearly good enough to translate at the NHL level and he must bulk up.

He pairs his edgework with his outstanding hands, very difficult for defenders to hold off in one-on-one situations. His stickhandling also allows him to make a move to create space for himself and for teammates. He is not afraid to battle along the boards, in the corners, or in front of the net. His quick hands help him to score in tight to the goaltender. He has a very accurate shot, but he doesn’t have enough power behind those shots just yet to translate to the NHL. Without the puck, he looks for an opening in the defense to go, in order to get a pass from a teammate.

He is very good at breaking up passes, and does not shy away from board battles defensively either. He has decent positioning, but must be fine tuned down the road. Has trouble against bigger opponents. So, again, he must bulk up.

Dorofeyev did outstanding in the second tier Russian league, the MHL, with Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk, as he put up 17 goals and 14 assists (31 points) in 19 games played. He was granted a shot at the KHL, where he played 14 games with a goal and an assist in 23 games. His offensive production in the KHL was underwhelming, but that was his first taste of playing against men, so it was not out of the blue that he struggled to score. His MHL production was stellar, and is more of a “what’s to come” look into his future once he develops and is able to produce against men.

 

Future Role: Doesn’t necessarily stand out offensively, but finds success nonetheless, which is a good sign moving forward. Once his shooting becomes more powerful, he could certainly project as a second line sniper. His balanced play will allow him to currently project as a middle-six winger with two-way capabilities. Must bulk up for those projections to be realized.

 

30th Overall Pick: Boston Bruins select Matthew Robertson, Left-Handed Defenseman, Edmonton Oil Kings, WHL

Robertson is a defenseman that is on the bigger side of things among his peers in the draft. He stands at 6’4 and 201 pounds, and with an aging core in Boston outside of Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo and Matt Grzelcyk, that have proved themselves, a defenseman could be just what they need. Not to mention, “Big Z” Zdeno Chara will likely be retired when Robertson is NHL ready, thus making size at the blueline a much bigger need in the future, something their D prospect Urho Vaakanainen can’t give them. Plus, at this stage in the draft, he’s arguably the best player available.

Despite his size, he is a very smooth skater. He is fast going both forwards and backwards, which is a great base for development of a defenseman. His edges are not the best however, and if he needs to change direction, he is a bit slow pivoting, which can lead to him struggling against forwards who have tight turns and blazing speed. He has great balance, which is understandably expected at his size, winning battles along the boards and in front of his own net.

Robertson has a fantastic pass, and when paired with his skating, makes him a very effective puck moving defenseman. When in the offensive zone, he finds ways to take advantage of his passing skills, and that helps him be a quarterback on the powerplay. Robertson is very mobile along the blueline, and that helps him “walk” the line to open up passing and shooting lanes. He isn’t the best shooter, but he does find ways to at least get the puck on net.

He has a great feel for the game, knowing when to go in deep and help the forwards and when to stay back, as well as knowing if a passing lane is there or not. He uses that feel to pick apart defenses offensively.

When the opposing team is carrying the puck up ice, he does a nice job matching their speed and keeping them on the outside. He also does step up and deliver big hits at times, though he usually just stays back in his gap, not wanting to get caught out of position. He is almost always in position, and loves getting to the dirty areas in the corners and in front of the net, battling with a man for the puck, or for positioning. He also isn’t afraid to block shots, showing a willingness to do what it takes to keep the opposing team from scoring. While he isn’t the most offensively minded defender in this draft, he did manage to produce seven goals and 26 assists (33 points) in 52 games for Edmonton.

 

Future Role: He is another safe pick in this draft, as he will likely, at the worst, crack a bottom-two pairing role. If he can improve upon his shooting and creativity in the offensive zone, as well as continue developing his already advanced defensive zone play, he could easily be a number two or number three defenseman for the Bruins, with penalty kill time.

 

31st Overall Pick: Buffalo Sabres select Brett Leason, Center, Prince Albert Raiders, WHL

Now this is a story. Brett Leason is a 20-year-old player in the CHL, and went undrafted and unsigned through the last two NHL drafts. Two drafts people. Now, he has been ranked inside the first round, and if those rankings ring true, could be just the second CHL player ever to be passed up in two drafts before being selected in the first round in the third draft (Tanner Pearson is the other). At his age, however, you are two years older than guys who are arguably ahead of you in their development. That alone is a big hit on his value, and might knock him outside the first.

He has been ranked as early as 28th and as late as 44th, with his average ranking at 34.9. So why have people suddenly fallen in love with a player who was told twice he wasn’t good enough to even be drafted? Because his glaring weaknesses are no more, and it begins with his skating. He has improved his skating to the point where he is no longer falling behind the play. He isn’t very fast, and still needs to improve on the fluidity of his strides, but he has taken a leap forward in improvements.

He has good balance, partly due to his 6’4, 201-pound frame, but also because he has solid edgework. That edgework was once missing in his game, but now that he has found it, he’s able to do so much more in all three zones, with tighter turns and cleaner stops and starts. He welcomes board battles, and fights mightily for net-front position. He is good at getting deflections and goals off rebounds. He has good hands to finish in tight and beat the goaltender.

While he has always had good stickhandling, he is now able to pair it with much better skating, which gives him a whole new set of plays to create space to pass or shoot. He has a decent shot, but he needs to work on it much more before it is NHL ready. He has a knack for finding open teammates, and the passing abilities to get the puck to them. He has good patience, taking as long as necessary for his teammates to get open, all the while looking over all options and keeping the play alive.

He is excellent at protecting the puck, so that helps. He works hard on both the forecheck and backcheck, which is always a welcome sign for NHL teams. Defensively, he is good positionally, as well as using his long reach to effectively break up passes and force turnovers. He helps support the defense down low, as well as being unafraid of blocking shots.

To put in perspective just how much Leason improved, here were his stats combined through his first two seasons in the CHL: 24 goals and 27 assists for 51 points in 135 games. Last season, Leason recorded 36 goals and 53 assists for 89 points in 55 games. In 80 less games, Leason had 12 more goals and 26 more assists for 38 more points. That is absolutely insane. That’s why he has been able to, almost suddenly, become a first round prospect, three years in the making. That goes to show how much work and dedication he puts into this game, as well as his ability to shut out the noise of all the detractors and doubters from years prior. His dream will soon be realised, and the way he gets here is nothing short of inspirational.

 

Future Role: If he continues to improve on his skating as well as his offensive skills, while building upon an already reliable defensive prowess, he could find himself in a second-line role. However, he doesn’t “wow” you with his performance, and simply does what he is told, and has a no-nonsense attitude on the ice, which leans me more towards a very reliable third-line winger, with penalty kill minutes.

 

Stats via eliteprospects

Featured Image Photo Credit: Nikos Michals

Anaheim Ducks

Anaheim Ducks: Dallas Eakins Takes Over In Southern California

The Anaheim Ducks named former Edmonton Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins as head coach. He replaces Randy Carlyle, who was fired last season. 

Technically, Bob Murray was coaching the Anaheim Ducks in an interim tag after Carlyle was dismissed. But, most fans in Southern California knew that Murray wasn’t going to be the permanent head coach for the Ducks. Murray was bound to bring in someone else to take over. 

Instead of hiring outside of the organization, he decided to promote Dallas Eakins. Eakins had been the head coach of the San Diego Gulls, the AHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks. He had coached the Gulls from 2015 thru 2019. During his four seasons in San Diego, he helped get the Gulls to the playoffs three out of four seasons. In fact, this past season, the Gulls made it all the way to the conference finals, but failed to shut down the Chicago Wolves, the AHL affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights.

Prior to Eakins’ time in San Diego, he coached the Edmonton Oilers for a season and a half. Plus, he had served as an assistant coach for both the Toronto Marlies, the AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Maple Leafs. 

Can Eakins Get The Ducks Back To The Glory Days?

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It wasn’t too long ago when fans in Anaheim saw the Ducks in the playoffs. Unfortunately, Carlyle’s coaching strategy failed over the past few seasons and several of the Ducks players weren’t playing up to par. We’ve seen Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Ryan Kesler and Cam Fowler slowly decline over time. Sadly, Carlyle’s system couldn’t get the Ducks back to the glory days. But, perhaps Eakins can.

Eakins has experience coaching a lot of the youth on the Anaheim Ducks roster. He’s coached Ondrej Kase, Max Jones, Sam Steel, Jacob Larsson, Jaycob Megna and Korbinian Holzer. Eakins is quite familiar with these players and has had success with them in the AHL. Since he’s quite familiar with them, he knows how to get them in the best spot possible to succeed. With that being said, Eakins should have an easy transition when getting his youth in form.

In addition, the hire of Eakins is a boost for the Ducks defensive core and his 3rd/4th line forward groups. Eakins was a solid two-way forward during his time in the NHL. While he never played a full season, he was defensive-minded and was always looking for the optimal poke-check. Plus, he had the chance to learn from some of the greatest coaches of all-time including Pat Quinn, who coached the Toronto Maple Leafs.

stats from eliteprospects.com and hockey-reference.com

featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals

Puck 77 NHL Draft Scouting Reports

We’ve compiled all of the scouting reports done by the various members of the Puck77 team for the NHL Draft here in one easy location so you can jump right to the player you want!

Our Top-12

1. 🇺🇸 Jack Hughes, C, USNTDP: Deep Dive Scouting Report on Jack Hughes by Tony Ferrari

2. 🇫🇮 Kaapo Kakko, RW, TPS (Liiga): Deep Dive Scouting Report of Kaapo Kakko by Tony Ferrari

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3. 🇺🇸 Alex Turcotte, C, USNTDP: Deep Dive Scouting Report on Alex Turcotte by Tony Ferrari

4. 🇨🇦 Bowen Byram, LHD, Vancouver Giants (WHL): Deep Dive Scouting Report on Bowen Byram by Tony Ferrari

5. 🇺🇸 Trevor Zegras, C/LW, USNTDP: Deep Dive Scouting Report on Trevor Zegras by Tony Ferrari

6. 🇨🇦 Dylan Cozens, C, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL): Deep Dive Scouting Report on Dylan Cozens by Tony Ferrari

7. 🇺🇸 Cole Caufield, LW, USNTDP: Deep Dive Scouting Report on Cole Caufield by Tony Ferrari

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8. 🇨🇦 Kirby Dach, C, Saskatoon Blades (WHL): Deep Dive Scouting Report on Kirby Dach by Tony Ferrari

9. 🇨🇦 Alex Newhook, C, Vancouver Grizzlies (BCHL): Deep Dive Scouting Report on Alex Newhook by Tony Ferrari

10. 🇨🇦 Peyton Krebs, C, Kootenay/Winnipeg Ice (WHL): Deep Dive Scouting Report on Peyton Krebs by Tony Ferrari

11. 🇺🇸 Matthew Boldy, RW, USNTDP: Deep Dive Scouting Report on Matthew Boldy by Tony Ferrari

12. 🇷🇺 Vasili Podkolzin, RW, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL): Deep Dive Scouting Report on Vasili Podkolzin by Tony Ferrari

Other Intriguing Prospects

2019 NHL Draft: What makes Philip Tomasino such an intriguing prospect? by Spencer Loane

2019 NHL Draft Deep Dive: Arthur Kaliyev by Spencer Teixeira

NHL Draft Profile: Nolan Foote by Spencer Teixeira

Come back for more profiles as they are updated and added! Thanks for stopping by!