The 2021-22 season is officially over for the Anaheim Ducks, but that hasn’t stopped them from being in the headlines this week. There’s plenty of work to do this upcoming offseason as they continue to lean into a full rebuild in order to eventually return to playoff contender status.
Ducks Have 10th-Best Odds in Draft Lottery
Though they improved their place in the standings from an abysmal 30th overall last season, the Ducks still finished in the bottom third for a fourth consecutive season. With a record of 31-34-14, the Ducks will have the 10th-best odds of selecting first in the NHL Draft Lottery. While the numbers aren’t exactly in their favor, we’ve seen previously that it’s possible for teams to leapfrog into the top-3 on occasion. Whoever the Ducks draft will be added to an already promising young core of Trevor Zegras, Jamie Drysdale and Mason McTavish, who have all been drafted within the past three seasons.
DiMaio Named Ducks’ Assistant General Manager
The Ducks have a new assistant general manager (AGM) in Rob DiMaio. His most recent position was director of player personnel for the St. Louis Blues. He also previously served as their former director of pro scouting. He played in 894 regular-season games and 62 playoff games during his pro career and played a large role in helping construct the Blues team that won the Stanley Cup during the 2018-19 season.
In addition to his position as the Ducks’ AGM, DiMaio will also serve as general manager (GM) of the San Diego Gulls, the Ducks’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate. He also has extensive AHL experience, winning a Calder Cup with the Springfield Indians during the 1989-90 season. To top it all off, he also won gold with Team Canada at the 1988 World Juniors. He carries quite a resume with him and is the second addition to the Ducks’ front office after Pat Verbeek was hired as GM this past February.
Lettieri Named to Team USA Roster for 2022 World Championship
Vinni Lettieri will be heading to Finland next week after being named to the USA roster for the 2022 World Championship. It’s a welcome reward for Lettieri, who set new career-highs for games played (31) and points (10) this season, shuttling back and forth between Anaheim and San Diego at various times.
Teammate Adam Henrique was named to Canada’s team for the 2021 Worlds last summer and leveraged a strong performance into a bounce-back campaign this past season. Lettieri is set to be an unrestricted free agent this upcoming offseason and a strong Worlds performance of his own could garner him a plethora of contract offers.
Ducks Retain Entire Coaching Staff for Next Season
After exercising the club option on head coach Dallas Eakins’ contract for next season, the Ducks have announced that their trio of assistant coaches Newell Brown, Mike Stothers and Geoff Ward will all be returning next season.
Stothers and Ward were added to the coaching staff this past offseason, as was Brown, but his latest stint with the Ducks is his third go-around with the team.
Ducks Sign Goaltender Clang to ELC
The Ducks have been quite busy over the past several weeks when it comes to getting their prospects under contract. After locking down Drew Helleson and Josh Lopina to entry-level contracts (ELCs), the Ducks also signed Blake McLaughlin to an ELC and earlier this week goaltender Calle Clang to one as well.
Clang was part of the deal that saw Rickard Rakell head to the Pittsburgh Penguins with Dominik Simon and Zach Aston-Reese also coming the Ducks’ way along with him. He was playing with Rögle BK in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) prior to signing his ELC and sported a 2.28 goals-against average (GAA) and a .915 save percentage (SV%).
The addition of Clang adds more depth to an already strong cohort of goaltenders in the Ducks’ organization. With John Gibson and Anthony Stolarz holding down the fort in the NHL, they also have Lukáš Dostál waiting in the wings along with Olle Eriksson Ek and 2021 draft pick Gage Alexander.
An important offseason looms ahead for the Ducks given their commitment to a full rebuild along with the retirement of their captain, Ryan Getzlaf. A new era is beginning in Anaheim and players like Zegras and Troy Terry will be at the forefront of it all.
Derek has been a hockey fan for over 10 years and a sports fan in general for more than two decades.
Prior to graduating from UCCS in Colorado Springs, CO in May 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Communication, he spent two and a half years as part of UCCS’ on-campus student newspaper staff–both as a sports reporter and editor. He is now creating Ducks-related content from his home in Southern California.
In his free time he enjoys playing FIFA, watching video essays on YouTube and curating his Spotify playlists.