With the 30th pick in 2016 NHL Draft the Anaheim Ducks have selected Sam Steel from the Regina Pats of the WHL.
About Sam Steel
In The Hockey News 2015 Draft Preview issue, they looked ahead one year for the projected top ten in the 2016 Draft. They had Steel ranked sixth. Over the next year, obviously he dropped as in the 2016 issue, he was ranked 43rd. A reason for that he didn’t exactly improve as much as some thought he would. He recorded 54 points in 61 games in the 2014-15 season. In 2015-16, in 11 more games, he recorded 70 points. That would be a lot by NHL standards, but junior hockey is a different, much more offensive game. If you’re an offensive player, you’re expected to produce. Now, Steel is more of a play-maker, so maybe it’s more on who he’s playing with. Most of his points did come from assists.
The Hockey Writers’ Ryan Pike projects Steel to be a second- or third-line center at best and compares him to Dallas’ Cody Eakin and Tampa Bay’s Alex Killorn. Although, if skill was based on the sound of your name, Sam Steel would place him much higher.
How Steel Fits Into The Duck’s System.
As a center, Steel looks to have time to develop. With Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler both having contracts that run for at least another five years, that takes up the top two spots. Then you have 23-year-old Rikard Rakell on the third line. Steel obviously doesn’t seem to fit the fourth-line center job description, so he is either going to have to wait until a job opens up or play good enough to force the Ducks’ hand.