With the Stanley Cup Playoffs nearing completion, it’s no surprise that there’s been very little news out of the Anaheim Ducks’ organization since their season concluded in late April. However, the coming months will be an essential period for the team as they look to add another top prospect via the NHL Entry Draft in July.
Ducks Sign Regenda to Entry-Level Contract
Free agency has yet to begin for pending free agents in the NHL, but several teams have already been busy on the unrestricted free agent (UFA) market when it comes to signing players from European leagues. The Ducks have also thrown their hat in the ring, signing Slovak forward Pavol Regenda to a two-year entry-level contract (ELC) on Wednesday.
Regenda is 22 years of age and represented Slovakia at both the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics—where they won bronze—and the 2022 IIHF World Championship. He totaled four points in Beijing and led Slovakia in goals (5) at the IIHF Worlds while also ranking second on the team in scoring with six points in eight games.
Regenda spent the last three seasons in the Slovakian Extraliga with HK Dukla Michalovce, accumulating 64 points in 93 games. His 2021-22 season saw him tally 39 points in 43 games.
Regenda also carries plenty of postseason experience in the Slovakian Extraliga, appearing in 18 playoff games and scoring 13 points. It’s already quite an impressive resume for a player as young as Regenda and all of that experience should bode well for him as he makes the transition to hockey in North America.
Pair of Ducks Win Medals at IIHF Worlds
Max Comtois and Lukáš Dostál came away with medals at the IIHF Worlds for Canada and Czechia respectively with the conclusion of the international tournament last week. Finland defeated the Canadians in the gold medal game while Czechia defeated the United States and fellow Duck Vinni Lettieri in the bronze medal match.
It was another solid tournament for Comtois, this being his second consecutive IIHF Worlds appearance. The 23-year-old put up seven points in 10 games and played an influential role on a strong Canadian team. The hope will be that Comtois will be able to build on another strong international performance after a subpar showing this past season for the Ducks.
Dostál made his IIHF Worlds debut in Czechia’s first game of the tournament against Great Britain, backstopping them to a 5-1 win. However, he suffered an injury at some point after that and was unable to play in any of the remaining games.
Dostál was one of the few bright spots this season for the San Diego Gulls, the Ducks’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, and the netminder even got a handful of NHL starts under his belt, earning his first win in his NHL debut in January. With trade rumors swirling around starting goaltender John Gibson this offseason, a deal involving him could open up the backup goaltender spot for Dostál with Anthony Stolarz taking over as the incumbent starter.
Ducks’ Draft Positions Finalized
Now that the Western Conference Final matchup has been set, the Ducks now officially know where they will select for both picks in the first round of this year’s draft.
Because the Edmonton Oilers advanced to the Western Conference Final, they slot into the final four spots in the draft, moving the Boston Bruins’ first-round pick—which belongs to the Ducks thanks to the Hampus Lindholm deal—up to 22nd overall.
The Ducks stood pat in the Draft Lottery after having the 10th-best odds to come away with the first overall pick, which means that currently, they will pick 10th and 22nd overall in the first round of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.
This offseason will be an important one for the Ducks as they embark on a rebuilding timeline that some will argue should have been set into motion long before this year. With Ryan Getzlaf hanging up his skates, they are entering a new era that will be spearheaded by players like Trevor Zegras, Jamie Drysdale, Troy Terry and Mason McTavish.
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.