This edition of Anaheim Ducks Prospects covers the return of Mason McTavish to the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Sasha Pastujov’s continued success with the Guelph Storm and the San Diego Gulls hot streak in the American Hockey League (AHL).
McTavish Scores Hat Trick in Return to Petes
McTavish didn’t look out of place by any means during his nine-game cameo in the NHL, but the Ducks wanted to give him the opportunity to continue his development at center, his natural position––McTavish had been playing on the wing with the Ducks. Thus, he was reassigned to the Peterborough Petes. This plan mirrors that of the one that the Ducks implemented with Trevor Zegras last season, bringing him up initially as a winger before reassigning him to the AHL so that he could improve as a center. That plan seemed to work out as Zegras looked like a different player upon his return to the NHL and his progress this season has been exponential.
McTavish is doing all he can to ensure this plan pays off for him as well. He scored on his first shot of the game in his first game back with the Petes and ended the game with a hat trick. This season will be not only an opportunity for him to continue developing as a center, he will have the ability to dominate the OHL and potentially play for Canada in the World Juniors as well.
Pastujov Continues Scoring Tear
With goals last Friday and Saturday, Pastujov extended his goal-scoring streak to six and seven consecutive games. He also had the game-winning goal on Saturday, proceeding to “dab on ‘em” following the goal. His goal-scoring exploits have been no secret to Ducks fans, with his goals being highlighted in almost every game it seems.
A third-round pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, Pastujov was pegged to be a first-round pick, but scouts held concerns about his skating. Pastujov is continuing to work with skating coach Barb Underhill to improve his skating and once he irons out those kinks, he will be even more of a force to be reckoned with.
Gulls Heating Up
Don’t look now, but the Gulls have rattled off four straight wins. Jacob Perreault had his eight-game point streak snapped last week, but that hasn’t stopped the Gulls’ offense. Brayden Tracey is beginning to find consistency and veteran Nik Brouillard, who has been playing both forward and defense, posted consecutive multi-point efforts.
After a rough start to the season, the Gulls have also gotten good performances from both Lukas Dostal and Olle Eriksson Ek as the Ducks’ goaltending production line continues to churn. Dostal is currently 4-3-0 with a 2.88 goals against average (GAA) and .896 save percentage (SV%) while Eriksson Ek is 3-3-1 with a 3.12 GAA and a .892 SV%.
Zellweger Racking up Points
Though he didn’t appear in any preseason games, Zellweger stuck around training camp for quite a bit before returning to the Everrett Silvertips in the Western Hockey League (WHL), and it’s easy to see why. The defensemen has 17 points in 16 games this season and had three goals (six points in total) in four games this past week.
The smooth-skating defenseman was known for his deceptive shot prior to his selection in the 20212 NHL Entry Draft, but he has been able to utilize it a lot more recently. Zellweger also isn’t afraid to drop the gloves, as he collected a Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist and fight in the same game) on Sunday.
Alexander Continues Good Form
Gage Alexander and the Winnipeg ICE have fared quite well this season, with Alexander sporting a 10-1-0 record and the ICE a stellar 20-1-0. After stopping 21 of 24 shots in the ICE’s 4-3 win to improve his record to 9-1-0 last Friday, Alexander backstopped his way to his second shutout of the season, blanking the Swift Current Broncos on Wednesday.
Alexander is also part of the Ducks’ 2021 draft class, which has exceeded expectations beyond measure. Though this is his third season with the ICE, this season has been Alexander’s most successful with them by far.
- Josh Lopina and Sam Colangelo continue to be out of the lineup for University of Massachusetts Amherst and Northeastern University, respectively, due to injury.
- Roman Durny was reassigned from the Tulsa Oilers in the ECHL to the Gulls on Monday.
- Kyle Kukkonen registered two assists in three games this past week for the Madison Capitols in the United States Hockey League (USHL).
- Jackson LaCombe collected three assists in University of Minnesota’s two games last weekend. Jack Perbix and Blake McLaughlin were held scoreless.
- Artyom Galimov had an assist in Ak Bars Kazan’s 3-2 win over Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod last Saturday.
- Trevor Janicke had an assist in the University of Notre Dame’s 5-4 overtime win over the University of Michigan last Saturday.
- Ian Moore tallied an assist in Harvard University’s 5-2 win over Brown University. Henry Thrun was held scoreless.
- Sean Tschigerl scored a terrific shorthanded goal last Sunday in the Calgary Hitmen’s 3-2 loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings.
- Ethan Bowen collected three assists in a pair of games this week for the Chilliwack Chiefs in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL).
- Tyson Hinds had a goal and an assist in a pair of games this week for Rimouski Océanic in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). Hinds has points in five of the last six games.
With a little over a week since the last Ducks Prospects piece, there was a lot to cover in this one. The Ducks’ 2021 draft class continues to look like one of the best groups in recent draft history for the team and the Gulls are beginning to get contributions across the board. Check back in next week for the latest edition of Ducks Prospects.
Derek has been a hockey fan for 10 years and a sports fan in general for more than two decades.
He graduated from UCCS in Colorado Springs, CO in May 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Communication and spent the last several years as part of UCCS’ on-campus student newspaper staff–both as a reporter and editor. He is now creating Ducks-related content from his home in Southern California.