Ducks Prospects: Drew, McTavish & More

Though the Anaheim Ducks continue to struggle to find consistency, their prospects have done just the opposite.

Pastujov Ends Goalscoring Drought

An 11-game goalscoring drought for Sasha Pastujov came to an end this week as he scored a goal and assisted on two others for the Guelph Storm on Feb. 21 in a 7-1 win against the Owen Sound Attack. But the 2021 third-round draft pick was done. Two goals and an assist in last night’s 7-1 win over the Windsor Spitfires made it consecutive three-point games for him.

The 18-year-old has lit up the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in his first season in the league and has quelled concerns about his below-average skating, one of the reasons why he fell to the Ducks in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.

Drew Pads the Statsheet

Hunter Drew isn’t one of the Ducks’ more well-known prospects. In fact, I’d been omitting him from the prospect report because I thought he’d already surpassed the prospect requirements I follow that are set by The Athletic’s Corey Pronman.

At age 23, Drew is still considered a prospect and he had quite the performance down in the American Hockey League (AHL) this past weekend for the San Diego Gulls against the Ontario Reign. Though the Gulls lost both games, Drew was a big reason why they were even in both games to begin with. The former defenseman — he was officially converted to a forward this past offseason — assisted on two goals on Feb. 19 and scored two goals while assisting on another the following day.

Drew is typically more of a grit-and-grind type of player who’s never afraid to mix it up with the opposition. But he has displayed a tremendous shot over the past few seasons while playing for the Gulls and part of that is why the coaching staff decided to have him make the transition to forward full-time this past offseason.

McTavish Returns Olympics With a Bang

Mason McTavish probably didn’t produce as much at the 2022 Winter Olympics as he would have liked, so he took out his frustration by scoring two goals in his return to the Hamilton Bulldogs lineup last night.

Mason McTavish Peterborough Petes
Mason McTavish, formerly of the Peterborough Petes (Terry Wilson / OHL Images)

McTavish’s 2021-22 season has been a wild one as he started out with the Ducks before making stops in San Diego and Peterborough, along with a brief trip to the World Juniors before it was postponed due to COVID-19. Now with the Bulldogs after being traded shortly before he met up with Team Canada for the Olympics, McTavish is picking up right where he left off.

Zellweger Continues Blazing Scoring Pace

Olen Zellweger is a defenseman, but you might not know it if you took a quick glance at his stats with the Everett Silvertips in the Western Hockey League (WHL) this season. With 55 points, he leads all WHL defensemen in points and sits just inside the top-25 scoring leaders in the entire league.

Zellweger is a big part of the Silvertips’ power play and presumably would have been so for Canada alongside McTavish at the World Juniors. The good news is that the World Juniors have been rescheduled for August, so there is a good chance that we will see McTavish and Zellweger donning the Maple Leaf this summer.

Olen Zellweger Everett Silvertips
Olen Zellweger, Everett Silvertips (Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images)

The 34th-overall pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, Zellweger looks like an absolute steal for the Ducks given how well he’s played this season. He likely needs a couple more seasons before he’s ready to make an impact at the NHL level, but the early signs look promising.

Quick Hits

  • Jackson LaCombe and Blake McLaughlin combined for two goals and three assists for the University of Minnesota this week.
  • Sam Colangelo scored a goal in Northeastern University’s 4-1 win over Boston College on Feb. 19.
  • Josh Lopina scored a goal in the University of Massachusetts-Amherst’s 4-2 loss to the University of Connecticut on Feb. 19.
  • Kyle Kukkonen scored two goals and assisted on another this week for the Madison Capitols.
  • Gage Alexander stopped 55 of 70 shots in two games (1-1-0 record) this week for the Winnipeg ICE.
  • Max Golod had an assist in the Tulsa Oilers’ 4-2 loss to the Fort Wayne Komets on Feb. 19.
  • Ethan Bowen scored a goal in the Chilliwack Chiefs’ 5-3 loss to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Feb. 19.
  • Bryce Kindopp scored a goal in the Gulls’ 4-3 loss to the Reign on Feb. 19.
  • Sean Tschigerl had an assist in the Calgary Hitmen’s 4-1 loss to the Saskatoon Blades on Feb. 20.
  • Benoit-Olivier Groulx had two assists this week for the Gulls.
  • Greg Printz had an assist for the Gulls in their 4-3 loss to the Reign on Feb. 20.
  • Olle Eriksson Ek stopped 14 of 18 shots against the Reign on Feb. 20 before being replaced.
  • Lukáš Dostál stopped 65 of 71 shots in three games (one relief appearance) for the Gulls this week, sporting a 1-1-0 record.
  • Albin Sundsvik scored a goal for Skellefteå in their 3-0 win over Djurgården on Feb. 22.
  • Tyson Hinds scored the game-winning goal in the Sherbrooke Phoenix’s 6-5 win over the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies on Feb. 23.
  • Artyom Galimov had two assists for Ak Bars Kazan yesterday in their 4-2 win over Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk.
  • Trevor Janicke had 2 assists for the University of Notre Dame in their 4-1 win over the University of Michigan last night.
  • Alex Limoges scored two goals while Lucas Elvenes also scored a goal — and Jacob Perreault added an assist — in the Gulls’ 5-2 win over the Henderson Silver Knights last night.

Related: Ducks’ Prospect Ethan Bowen Reflects on 4 Years in Chilliwack, Ready to Take Next Step

With the NHL trade deadline next month, the Ducks could be adding to their prospect pool, depending on how they fare until then. Deals involving Rickard Rakell, Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson could fetch quite a return if the Ducks decide they’re not cut out for a playoff push this season and new general manager Pat Verbeek will be eager to recoup assets for the trio of pending unrestricted free agents if that turns out to be the case.


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