We’re back with another Anaheim Ducks prospect update! Jamie Drysdale made his NHL debut and scored his first NHL goal along with Trevor Zegras. Benoit-Olivier Groulx continued to improve with the San Diego Gulls, and Henry Thrun finished the week strong in the United States Hockey League. It’s time to recap and analyze their performances. Welcome back to our series updating you on some of the Ducks’ top prospects and picks from the NHL Entry Draft.
Zegras & Drysdale Record First NHL Goals
March 18 will be a day to remember for Ducks fans as their two top prospects, Zegras and Drysdale, both recorded their first NHL goals. For Zegras, it was his 11th game of the season, and he had come within a goalpost of recording his first NHL goal the game prior. For Drysdale, it was as good as it gets for an NHL debut. He recorded his first NHL goal just over two minutes before Zegras did and grabbed a secondary assist on Zegras’ tally. He became just the third defenseman to record multiple points in their league debut before the age of 19, joining Ray Bourque and Petr Svoboda.
Zegras is riding a three-game point streak with one goal to go along with two assists. He’s now up to one goal and four assists for five points in 12 games played. He’s been playing on a line with Adam Henrique and Troy Terry and has seemingly found some chemistry with the duo. It’s taken him some time to adjust, but with four points in his last six games versus one point in his first six, it’s clear that he’s gaining confidence.
Groulx Continues to Improve for Gulls
The Gulls had back-to-back games against the Tucson Roadrunners this weekend, losing the first one 6-2 and winning the second game, 4-2. Andrew Poturalski and Benoit-Olivier Groulx led the way for the Gulls with three points each. Groulx had goals in back-to-back games for the first time this season and recording his second multi-point game of the season. He’s putting together a fairly impressive rookie season, especially after struggling through his first eight games with only one goal. Over his last 12 games played, he has five goals and four assists for nine points.
Josh Mahura also returned to the Gulls for the first time since February after spending the month in the NHL. He recorded one goal and two assists and has seven points in eight games played for San Diego this season. Lukas Dostal stayed on the taxi squad for both Gulls games with John Gibson the injured reserve. Jeff Glass and Olle Eriksson Ek split the starts for the weekend. Eriksson Ek has looked good in his first three starts this season with a 2-1-0 record, a 2.36 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage.
Upcoming Games: March 24 vs. Ontario, March 26 vs. Bakersfield, March 27 vs. Tucson
Galimov & AK Bars Kazan Keep on Winning
After sweeping their first-round series against Torpedo, Artyom Galimov and Ak Bars Kazan have taken a 3-0 series lead over Salavat Yulaev in their second-round playoff series. He recorded seven shots on goal and one assist across all three games. He has one goal and two assists across seven playoff games this postseason. They have a chance to close out the series on Tuesday.
Upcoming Games: March 23 vs. Salavat Yulaev
Axel Andersson, Albin Sundsvik and Thimo Nickl
Axel Andersson and Södertälje SK are in the HockeyAllsvenskan quarterfinals as the fourth seed and will matchup against the fifth seed Västervik. He finished the season with two goals and nine assists for 11 points in 51 games played. If Andersson’s season ends early he would be eligible to play for the Gulls this year.
Upcoming Games: March 23/25/27 vs. Västervik
Albin Sundsvik was pointless in Skellefteå AIK’s only game last week and recorded one shot on goal in 10:32 of time on ice. His season total remains at six goals and seven assists for 13 points in 43 games played.
Upcoming Games: March 26 vs. Malmö
Thimo Nickl finally returned to action for Rögle of the Swedish Hockey League. He played in their only game of the week recording three shots on goal in 12:29 time on ice. It was nice to finally see him back in action after failing to feature in any game since February.
Upcoming Games: March 25 vs. Leksand, March 28. vs. Växjö
Blake McLaughlin, Jackson LaCombe and Jack Perbix
It was a big week for the University of Minnesota and the trio of Ducks’ prospects on the team. It started off with a hard-fought 3-2 overtime victory over the University of Michigan in the Big Ten Semifinals. Jack Perbix recorded one assist in the game as Jackson LaCombe and Blake McLaughlin failed to register a point. Minnesota then triumphed over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game by a final score of 6-4. LaCombe registered two assists while McLaughlin had a game to remember with two goals and two assists for four points.
LaCombe was also named to the All-Big Ten First Team, after he co-led all conference defensemen in scoring and assists with four goals and 16 assists for 20 points. He was also tied for fifth in the nation in scoring among defensemen. McLaughlin recorded career highs in goals and points finishing with 12 goals and 15 assists for 27 points in 29 games played. He tied for third in scoring, goals and assists among his teammates. Perbix finished with three goals and five assists for eight points which were career highs for goals and points. Minnesota will take on Omaha in the first round of the NCAA Division I Championship.
Upcoming Games: March 27 vs. Omaha
Henry Thrun & Ian Moore
Henry Thrun’s first three games of the week were ones he’d probably like to forget. The defenseman failed to register a point, recorded seven shots on goal and finished a minus-five. However, he made up for it all with an impressive end to his week on Sunday. Thrun recorded one goal, two assists and three shots on goal in Dubuque’s 5-2 victory over Green Bay. He now has three goals and four assists for seven points in ten games played.
Upcoming Games: March 25/26 vs. Team USA, March 27 vs. Waterloo
Ian Moore now has goals in three straight games after scoring in both games for the Chicago Steel this week. He recorded six shots on goal and brought his season totals to nine goals and seven assists for 16 points in 34 games played. It’s been a tale of two seasons for Moore, with only one goal and two assists in his first 15 games played, but he now has eight goals and five assists for 13 points in his last 19 games played.
Upcoming Games: March 26 vs. Green Bay, March 27 vs. Team USA
Janicke and Notre Dame Return for NCAA Tournament
After seeing their season end at the hands of Penn State in the Big Ten Quarterfinals, Notre Dame and Trevor Janicke are back for the NCAA Division I Championship. They are one of the 16 teams participating in the tournament. They have a tough test ahead of them as they are matched up with second seed Boston College.
Upcoming Games: March 27 vs. Boston College
Thanks for checking out our latest prospects update of the 2020-21 season. Stay tuned for a fresh update on Ducks prospects from major junior, NCAA, Europe, and around the world!
In the meantime, if you want to hear my thoughts on the team’s prospects and current affairs, check out The Forever Mighty Podcast for all the latest Anaheim Ducks talk and analysis.
Fan of the Anaheim Ducks for my whole life. I’m a die hard fan living in London, Ontario. Excited to be writing about the team I love. Talking all things Ducks on the Forever Mighty Podcast!