Ducks News & Rumors: McTavish, Del Zotto & More

With Christmas just around the corner, the Anaheim Ducks might not be expecting too many gifts ahead of the holiday season. In fact, their most anticipated gift might have to wait until next summer, when the NHL Draft Lottery is underway and the Ducks know which draft spot they’ll land in.

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The “Tank Hard for Bedard” campaign has been in full swing and the Ducks are right in the midst of it alongside teams like the Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Arizona Coyotes. The turn of the new year will also bring the 2022-23 season just a bit closer to the March 3 Trade Deadline. It also means that defenseman John Klingberg’s full no-trade clause will be converted to a 10-team no-trade clause and the Swede could be on the move at any point once the calendar turns to Jan. 1.

Carrick Scores First Goal of the Season, Megna Gets First Ducks Point

Sam Carrick missed the beginning of the season as he continued his rehabilitation period after undergoing hip surgery in May. He returned to the lineup on Nov. 15 and has appeared in 19 games since. His goal on Dec. 17 against the Edmonton Oilers was his first of the season en route to a 4-3 victory.

Related: 3 Takeaways From Oilers’ 4-3 Costly Loss to Ducks

Jayson Megna also grabbed his first point as a Duck on the goal, registering the secondary assist. He has appeared in seven games for the Ducks since being claimed off waivers from the Colorado Avalanche on Dec. 6.

McTavish Makes Ducks History

Mason McTavish has been one of the top rookies in the league this season and he made Ducks history against the Oilers. With the primary assist on Carrick’s goal, he became the fifth teenager in Ducks history to record at least 20 career points. The four others are Cam Fowler, Jamie Drysdale, Oleg Tverdovsky, and Stanislav Chistov.

Mason McTavish Anaheim Ducks
Mason McTavish, Anaheim Ducks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

McTavish started out the season on the wing but has since shifted back to his natural position at center. An injury to Isac Lundestrom, which ruled him out for six weeks, has allowed McTavish to assume a more pronounced role. Firmly entrenched on the top power play unit alongside Trevor Zegras and Troy Terry, he’s beginning to earn more ice time and has made the most of it.

Ducks Acquire Del Zotto in 3-Team Trade

Hello, old friend. On Dec. 19, the Ducks acquired defenseman Michael Del Zotto in a three-team deal, sending forward Danny O’Regan to the Detroit Red Wings after Del Zotto was acquired from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Givani Smith.

This isn’t Del Zotto’s first rodeo in the Ducks organization. He was originally acquired in Jan. 2019 from the Vancouver Canucks with Luke Schenn and a 2020 seventh-round pick going back the other way. He was then dealt to the St. Louis Blues just a month later in exchange for a 2019 sixth-round pick. Finally, he signed a one-year deal with the Ducks that summer, appearing in 49 games during the 2019-20 season.

Michael Del Zotto Anaheim Ducks
Michael Del Zotto, Anaheim Ducks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

With the Ducks’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the San Diego Gulls, currently having paper-thin defensive depth due to a slew of injuries, Del Zotto was acquired with the intention of bringing in someone with extensive NHL experience who can play plenty of minutes at the minor league level.

Kirkland Makes NHL Debut

Justin Kirkland joined the Ducks this past offseason, signing a one-year deal after spending last season in the AHL with the Stockton Heat, the Calgary Flames affiliate. “Costco” had 13 points in 19 games with the Gulls prior to his call-up and made his NHL debut on Dec. 20 against the Los Angeles Kings. The Ducks are currently without Derek Grant and Max Jones – who was placed on injured reserve to open up a roster spot for Kirkland – as well as the aforementioned Lundestrom.

Former Duck Guhle Announces Retirement

Brendan Guhle announced his retirement on Dec. 20 after playing seven games with Eisbären Berlin in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL). The team announced in a statement that it was due to personal reasons and Stéphane Richter, Eisbären’s sporting director, said that it came as a surprise. Just 25 years of age, Guhle suffered an injury prior to the beginning of the season, which was the reason behind his minuscule amount of games played this season.

Buffalo Sabres Brendan Guhle
Former Buffalo Sabres defenseman Brendan Guhle (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)

Guhle joined the Ducks after being traded by the Buffalo Sabres (alongside a 2019 first-round pick) for Brandon Montour during the 2019-20 season. He only played in 42 games for the Ducks over the course of three seasons, spending the majority of his time with the organization in the AHL with the Gulls, where he appeared in 87 games.

After becoming a free agent this past offseason, Guhle signed a one-year deal overseas with Eisbären. His brother, Kaiden, is currently a member of the Montreal Canadiens and made his NHL debut earlier this season.

Related: Ducks’ Disastrous First 30 Games: By the Numbers

The Ducks are currently in the midst of a franchise-record 10-game homestand, with tonight’s game against the Flames being the second of the set. It will be their final game before the short break for Christmas. Their next game following the resumption of the schedule will be on Wednesday, Dec. 28 against the Vegas Golden Knights.