how low can the Ducks go?
John Gibson and his useless band of merry men could be in for a long season in Anaheim. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

The Anaheim Ducks, aka John Gibson and his useless bunch of merry men, won’t come out of the Pacific Division. Let’s start there and get it out of the way before anyone gets their hopes up. This preview is merely to ask how low can the Ducks go? Considering they chose Mason McTavish and allowed William Eklund to fall to state rivals the San Jose Sharks, it seems the answer is pretty low.

But it’s okay. That’s the plan. The Ducks are in full-on rebuild mode just like they were during last season’s preview. I worry about that rebuild though if they continue to overlook talent like Eklund. None-the-less that’s where the Ducks are and in truth they already have some nice pieces in that rebuilding process.

Trevor Zegras should see much more ice time this season as a projected second-line center by Cap Friendly. While Jamie Drysdale I believe will play higher than the third line pairing he’s projected to be. Then there is also the 2018 draftee Isac Lundeström, 2017 pick Maxime Comtois and a pair of 2016 picks in Max Jones and Sam Steel to continue developing. The latter three probably have more of a time constraint than Lundeström if I’m being honest.

Projected Lineup:

Left WingCenterRight Wing
Isac LundeströmRyan GetzlafRickard Rakell
Maxime ComtoisTrevor ZegrasTroy Terry
Max JonesSam SteelAlexander Volkov
Nicolas DeslauriersAdam HenriqueDerek Grant
Left DefensemanRight Defenseman
Hampus LindholmKevin Shattenkirk
Cam FowlerJosh Manson
Jacob LarssonJamie Drysdale
Goaltenders
John Gibson
Anthony Stolarz

With just over $13 million in cap space remaining there is always the possibility the Ducks make moves before the start of the season. However, this season should be all about the 2022 Draft and how low can the Ducks go to maximize the potential of a high draft pick.

Player to watch: 

It’s the John Gibson show in Anaheim and if he can put up decent numbers with a poor team it will be interesting to see who’s in play for him come to the trade deadline. I’m also really looking forward to watching Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale continue their development. I’m just hoping being a Duck doesn’t hinder that.

Prediction:

The Ducks will give the Arizona Coyotes a run for the bottom spot in the Western Conference, but may ultimately lose out to the only team worse than them in the entire NHL. That won’t stop them finishing dead last in the Pacific though since the Coyotes move to the Central Division. Trade John Gibson and that bottom spot in the conference may become even more of a possibility.

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