It’s a monumental week for the Anaheim Ducks as several players could be on their way out the door and in return, an influx of prospects is likely to take their place. For the other prospects in the team’s pipeline, several of them are currently competing in collegiate tournaments around the United States while others are preparing for the juniors playoffs up north.
Pastujov Heating Up Again
After a small downturn in offensive production, it looks like Sasha Pastujov is starting to get things going again. With two goals and four assists this week, the 2021 third-round pick is again showcasing the playmaking abilities that had him pegged to be a potential first-round pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.
The same tired story continues to be that Pastujov’s skating will become an issue once he reaches the NHL level. For now, it doesn’t appear to be an issue, and his continued work with skating coach Barb Underhill should help his skating progress.
Drew Continues Productive First Season at Forward
After spending most of his young career on the blue line, Hunter Drew made the full-time transition to playing as a winger this season for the San Diego Gulls in the American Hockey League (AHL). The position change has revolutionized his game and his 30 points this season have easily surpassed any of his points totals from his previous pro seasons.
The Gulls have struggled this season due to a number of reasons, but Drew has been one of the bright spots. His rugged style of play coupled with an above-average shot means that he has adapted well to the AHL. While it remains to be seen whether he could eventually make his way to the NHL, he has carved out quite a role for himself in the AHL for the time being.
Ducks Add Helleson in Manson Deal
The first move of many for Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek came on Monday when he dealt defenseman Josh Manson to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defensive prospect Drew Helleson and a 2023 second-round pick.
Helleson recently completed his junior season with Boston College and wasted no time in turning pro, signing his entry-level deal on Tuesday, a contract that will kick in next season. He’s expected to arrive in San Diego on Sunday and join up with the Gulls.
- Josh Lopina scored two goals for the University of Massachusetts-Amherst as they advanced to the Hockey East Tournament semifinal.
- Sam Colangelo scored a goal for Northeastern University in a 3-2 win over Boston College on March 12.
- Henry Thrun scored a goal and assisted on two others this week for Harvard University while Ian Moore had an assist of his own as Harvard beat both Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and Clarkson University to advance to the ECAC Tournament final against Quinnipiac University.
- Max Golod had two assists this week for the Tulsa Oilers.
- Jackson LaCombe and Blake McLaughlin combined for a goal and an assist this week for the University of Minnesota. LaCombe was also named to the All-Big Ten Second Team while McLaughlin was named to the All-Big Ten Honorable Mention Team.
- Olen Zellweger had three assists this week for the Everett Silvertips.
- Ethan Bowen had an assist for the Chilliwack Chiefs this week.
- Thimo Nickl has been out with a lower-body injury for the last two weeks for AIK. He is expected to return for the upcoming playoffs.
- Mason McTavish had two assists for the Hamilton Bulldogs this week.
- Albin Sundsvik scored a goal for Skellefteå in a 3-1 win over Leksands IF on Tuesday.
- Sean Tschigerl had an assist for the Calgary Hitmen in a 5-2 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings on Wednesday.
- Tyson Hinds scored a goal for the Sherbrooke Phoenix in a 2-0 win over the Shawinigan Cataractes last night.
- The Gulls had quite a week, going 3-0-0 thanks to spectacular performances from their offense and goaltending. Olle Eriksson Ek had a 22-save shutout on March 12 while Lukáš Dostál stopped 56 of 58 shots in two starts.
- Benoit-Olivier Groulx scored two goals and added an assist this week for the Gulls while Alex Limoges added a trio of assists.
- Bryce Kindopp, Brayden Tracey, Jacob Perreault and Greg Printz all scored goals this week for the Gulls with Perreault and Kindopp also combining for three assists.
With Helleson the latest addition to the Ducks’ pipeline, expect a few more to come this weekend once general manager Verbeek has found deals for both Hampus Lindholm and Rickard Rakell, along with potentially a handful of other names as well.
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.