Just past the halfway point of the season, the Anaheim Ducks are near the top of the league. After having spent the majority of the season at the top of the standings, the Ducks recently fell to second place behind the surging Nashville Predators.
With a record of 27-10-6, the Ducks have 60 points and are on pace to have one of their highest point totals in a season.
But with half of the season past us, let’s evaluate each player’s performance. In order to be truly evaluated, a player should have played at least 20 games to be fairly assessed, so no grades were given to Kyle Palmieri, Rene Bourque, William Karlsson, Mat Clark, Josh Manson, Eric Brewer, Dany Heatley, Mark Fistric, Colby Robak, Chris Wagner and Max Friberg.
Also, the ranking takes into account each player’s expectations and the role they play, so defensive players aren’t judged solely on his number of goals.
Ryan Getzlaf A
Getzlaf has been the anchor of the Ducks’ squad so far this season. Despite only scoring 13 goals thus far, the center has a team-high 32 assists.
The Ducks lone All-Star has also provided plenty of leadership with Corey Perry missing 15 games already this season with the mumps and with a knee injury. Without Getzlaf, the Ducks would not be as high as they currently are.
Ryan Kesler A
So far, trading Nick Bonino to Vancouver for Kesler in the offseason has seemed to be a great move. Kesler has 29 points, second on the team only to Getzlaf, and has provided some scoring depth to a Ducks team that previously relied too heavily on its top line.
Kesler has also been one of the best players in the league in the face-off circle, giving plenty of opportunities for the Ducks.
Corey Perry B+
Extremely hard to give a strong grade to at this point, as he is second on the team in goals (15), but, by his own self-admission, has been frustrated with missing 15 games already this season with the mumps and a knee injury (video below).
Still, when he’s healthy, Perry is one of the elite players in the league, and can score on anyone. At the beginning of the season, he looked to be a serious Hart Trophy contender, but has struggled to regain that form since coming back from the knee injury.
Sami Vatanen A
Without a doubt, the biggest pleasant surprise for the Ducks this season. Vatanen has seemingly come out of nowhere to lead the defensemen in points, and can seemingly strike from anywhere on the ice.
Matt Beleskey A-
When Beleskey’s on the ice, the Ducks score, and don’t give up goals, as he has a team-best 13 +/-. He also leads the team in goals with 17, but has only notched five assists so far, which could be improved as the season goes on.
Cam Fowler B+
Fowler has been great at setting up plays for the Ducks this season, as he has already notched 14 assists while scoring five goals. But opponents’ have also found success on the other end of the ice against the young defender, as he has a 0 +/-.
Patrick Maroon C+
Has struggled offensively for the Ducks’ this season, as he has only notched two goals and currently has a -6 difference when he’s on the ice. Both of those stats will need to improve in the second half of the season.
Jakob Silfverberg B+
Has put up decent numbers so far this season (four goals, 12 assists) but hasn’t been the great difference maker that he seemingly was last year.
Frederick Andersen A
A strong reason why the Ducks are near the top of the league right now, Andersen has been lights out so far this season. With the Ducks having plenty of backup goalie questions, Andersen has provided a rock for Anaheim, posting a 2.36 GAA en route to 23 wins thus far. The only question remaining for Andersen is if he can maintain the high level of play while seeing so much action.
Hampus Lindholm B+
Has provided some depth on the defensive line, as he has come in and been a strong option on coach Bruce Boudreau’s second line. Has a great +/- (12) and has been good at setting up chances for the Ducks.
Devante Smith-Pelly B-
After such a strong season last year for the Ducks, including netting the game-tying goal against Dallas in Game 6 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Smith-Pelly hasn’t provided the same fireworks yet this season, as he only has four goals and 11 assists.
Rickard Rakell B
Has come on strong lately for the Ducks, and, in the Ducks most recent outing against Winnipeg, tied a franchise record for rookie points in a game with four (two goals, two assists). Prior to his strong game Sunday though, had only mustered eight points.
Andrew Cogliano C
Probably the biggest underachiever on the Ducks so far this season, Cogliano has not looked like his former self. He has only netted a total of 11 points (five goals) and has a -8 +/-. For one of the Ducks’ strongest players, those numbers aren’t acceptable.
Nate Thompson B-
Hasn’t put up great numbers yet this season, but has provided a decent center on the back lines, taking some of the weight off players like Getzlaf and Kesler.
Francois Beauchemin B-
Like Perry, Beauchemin is also hard to judge because he’s missed so much time due to injury. But through 25 games, he’s only put up eight points, and hasn’t necessarily been a rock defensively, which the Ducks need from him.
Ben Lovejoy A-
Has been sneaky-good for the Ducks this season. Despite no goals, he has set up several key Ducks’ goals, and also has been strong defensively, as he rarely allows quality scoring chances from opponents.
Emerson Etem B
Has split time between Anaheim and Norfolk this season, and despite not putting up great numbers (two goals, four assists) in Anaheim, has provided plenty of speed on the Ducks’ attack. When he improves his finishing, the Southern-Californian native could be extremely potent for the Ducks.
Tim Jackman B
Has been relatively quiet, but with the Ducks needing as much depth defensively as possible with Beauchemin missing time this season, has provided a nice option.
Clayton Stoner B
Like Jackman, Stoner has provided a nice option defensively for the Ducks.
THW Ducks Contributor