Anaheim Ducks Prospects: LaCombe Gets First NCAA Goal

We’re finally back with a prospect update! The 2020 IIHF World Junior Championships left us hanging for a bit, but it’s time to recap and analyze the performances of the Anaheim Ducks prospects. Here’s the sixth edition of our series updating you on some of the Ducks’ top prospects and picks from the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

Zegras Picks up Where He Left Off

Talk about putting on a show. Trevor Zegras left his mark on the World Juniors, leading Team USA in scoring with nine assists in five games. Even more remarkable, all nine assists were primary.

“World Juniors was awesome. It was a good experience for me, playing with some of the guys I played with last year, but it’s nice to get back. A little different, but it’s good,”

(from ‘ BU hockey gets a boost with return of Team USA star Trevor Zegras’, Boston Globe – 01/16/20).

Zegras has returned to Boston University and skated in four games, including a matchup against USA teammate Spencer Knight and Boston College. He’s scored one goal and two assists bringing his season total to six goals and 20 points in 20 games. He even traded in his “wizard of pass” title with a goal against Brown on Jan. 8.

Upcoming Games: Jan. 24/25 vs. UMass Lowell

Groulx Moves from Halifax to Moncton

Since our last update, Benoit-Olivier Groulx was traded from the Halifax Mooseheads to the Moncton Wildcats. At the time of the trade, he was riding a 14-game point streak with 10 goals and 15 assists. Since joining the Wildcats, he’s put up points in six of seven games, including six goals and six assists. He was recently named to the QMJHL Team of the Week for the period from Jan. 13-19.

Benoit-Olivier Groulx Halifax Mooseheads
Halifax Mooseheads forward Benoit-Olivier Groulx. (Shawn Davidson/QMJHL)

He’s been centering the Wildcats’ second line with Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Gabriel Fortier and over-ager Jeremy McKenna. His 60.7% faceoff percentage is second in the QMJHL among forwards with more than 500 attempts. He has 21 goals and 32 assists in 33 games.

Upcoming Games: Jan. 25 vs. Halifax, Jan. 26 vs. Charlottetown, Jan. 28 vs. Cape Breton

Jack Perbix, Blake McLaughlin and Jackson LaCombe

The Minnesota Golden Gophers ended 2019 on a high note, winning the Mariucci Classic by defeating Bemidji State and St. Cloud State. They followed that up by splitting their first games in 2020 against Michigan State.

Jackson LaCombe did it. He finally did it. On Jan. 10 against Michigan, he picked up his first collegiate goal.

He now has one goal and eight assists in 22 games. With the pressure off, hopefully we’ll see him hit the back of the net more often.

Blake McLaughlin was back in action, picking up one goal and two assists in four games to bring his totals up to four goals and eight assists in 22 games. He hasn’t improved much since his freshman season, but it’s probably a little to early to jump ship.

Jack Perbix was held pointless in all four games for the Gophers. He’s sitting on two goals and three assists in 22 games.

Upcoming Games: Jan. 24/25 vs. Ohio State

Jack Badini and Henry Thrun

Harvard was one of the busiest teams since our last update, with a 3-2-2 record over seven games. Two of those games included the SoCal Clash, a two-game tournament at Irvine’s Great Park Ice and FivePoint Arena.

Jack Badini picked up one goal and one assist in seven games. His one goal was the game-winner in Game One of the SoCal Clash against Arizona State. He now has four goals and six assists in 17 games.

Henry Thrun skates to the blueline.
Harvard University freshman and Anaheim Ducks draft pick Henry Thrun greets Harvard teammate and fellow Ducks draft pick Jack Badini before Game 1 of the SoCal Clash.(Anthony Ciardelli/THW)

Henry Thrun picked up four assists in Harvard’s seven games which brings his total to two goals and nine assists in 17 games.

Upcoming Games: Jan. 24 vs. Colgate, Jan. 25 vs. Cornell

Trevor Janicke

It was disappointing to see Trevor Janicke just miss out on a spot on Team USA’s 2020 World Junior roster. However, it also meant more playing time for him with Notre Dame.

Unfortunately, the extra time didn’t translate onto the score sheet. He was pointless in Notre Dame’s six games and still sits at seven goals and 3 assists. Despite the cold streak, he is second on the team in goals.

Matt Berkovitz and Matthew Hill

After missing five games, Matt Berkovitz returned to the lineup on Dec. 29. He went pointless in Army’s next five games and was a minus-three.

Upcoming Games: Jan. 24/25 vs. Niagara

Matthew Hill was the busiest of all Ducks prospects playing in 13 games. As seems to be the trend this season, he was pointless in all of them, a streak of 23 games. Once again, it’s worth noting that putting up points has never been a major part of his game.

Upcoming Games: Jan. 23 vs. Oshawa, Jan. 25 vs. Hamilton, Jan. 26 vs. Oshawa

Will Francis

As I mentioned last time, Will Francis suffered a torn meniscus that required surgery.

Will Francis Cedar Rapids Roughriders
Will Francis of the Cedar Rapids Roughriders (Rick Boots/CR RoughRiders)

He’s done for the season and has moved up to the University of Minnesota-Duluth to begin classes and prepare for next season.

Lukas Dostal Regains Form after World Juniors

It wasn’t the performance we were hoping for at the World Juniors. Lukas Dostal finished with a .878% save percentage and a 4.03 goals-against average in three games, which is nothing to boast about. Considering he was one of many Czech players to suffer an injury it’s understandable.

He’s been the starter for Ilves in their last four games, posting a 2-0-2 record in that span. This brings his season totals to a 19-4-3 record, a .922 SV%, and a 1.92 GAA.

Garrett Metcalf

Mercyhurst seems to have stopped splitting their goaltending duties, as Garrett Metcalf was the starter in all seven games. It was a tough stretch for him as he was pulled three times and posted a 1-4 record. He allowed 19 goals on 190 shots for a .900 SV% and a 2.72 GAA to bring his season totals to a .906 SV% and a 3.55 GAA.

Upcoming Games: Jan. 24/25 vs. Bentley University

Tracey Swaps Moose Jaw for Victoria

Like Groulx, Brayden Tracey was a victim of the trade deadline and was traded from the Moose Jaw Warriors to the Victoria Royals on Jan. 9. He’s played seven games with Moose Jaw since we last checked in on him, posting two goals and 3 assists.

Since the move, he’s accumulated two goals and five assists in six games. He also earned Western Hockey League Highlight of the Night for his goal against Tri-City on Jan. 14.

He’s now up to 17 goals and 28 assists in 34 games.

Upcoming Games: Jan. 24 vs. Brandon, Jan. 25 vs. Winnipeg, Jan. 28 vs. Saskatoon

If you missed our last update, check it out here! 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.