NHL Pacific Division Preview: Anaheim Ducks

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 27: Corey Perry #10 of the Anaheim Ducks talks with Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks during a game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Honda Center on November 27, 2015 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

2017-18 Overview

The Anaheim Ducks went 44-25-13 for 101 points last season landing them in second place in the Pacific Division; Anaheim’s fifth consecutive 100-point season. In the playoffs, the Ducks were swept in the opening round to the hands of their rivals from San Jose.

Off-Season Moves

Additions: Brian Gibbons, Andrei Sustr, Carter Rowney, Luke Schenn

Subtractions: Francios Beauchemin, J.T. Brown, Kevin Bieksa, Antoine Vermette

Sustr and Schenn give the Ducks a solid back end replacing Beauchemin and Bieksa and that should make the defense more formidable. Plus, Rowney replaces JT Brown, so the depth may have gotten better with these additions.

Returning Stars

The same old crew is back in Anaheim with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf (cover photo, Perry on left, Getzlaf on right) leading the charge as the Ducks look to bounce back after a stunning sweep to San Jose in last year’s playoffs. Also in the fold are John Gibson, Hampus Lindholm, Cam Fowler, Josh Manson, Rickard Rakell, Ryan Kesler and Adam Henrique.

Breakout Bets

Max Jones, the Ducks’ 2016 first-round choice, may be a mid-season call up if there is an injury to the forward group. He is a big guy who plays with an edge and has some skill to complement it.

What to Expect

I expect the Ducks to be in the division race again; they lost no key contributors during the offseason except maybe Antoine Vermette but his loss should not sting all that much. I think this will be the sixth straight season that the Ducks eclipse the 100 points plateau and a Stanley Cup berth. If they make the playoffs, the Ducks’ average age may hurt them with better and faster teams waiting to play them. Potential playoff opponents like the Kings (Ilya Kovalchuk) or Sharks (Erik Karlsson) have added key players this offseason.

-Kevin Gesterling covers the Pacific Division in the NHL’s Western Conference for Full Press Coverage. You can reach him on Twitter @kgesterling1_FPC.

Kevin Gesterling

 

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