Contrary to the form of the big club, the Anaheim Ducks’ prospects have been finding varying levels of success. From the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) to the Western Hockey League (WHL) to the American Hockey League (AHL), the Ducks have prospects making their names all around North America.
McTavish Continues to Dominate OHL
It’s been quite a season for Mason McTavish. It’s easy to forget that he was drafted by the Ducks just this past summer with the third-overall pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. Since then, McTavish has scored his first NHL goal, played in both World Juniors and the Winter Olympics and even swapped teams in the OHL, where he plays junior hockey.
Through all of this, McTavish hasn’t missed a beat as he has 38 points in 24 games at the OHL level and looked like one of the best players at World Juniors before its postponement due to COVID protocols. Even though McTavish didn’t light it up by any means at the Olympics, the opportunity to play against bigger and stronger opponents will help him prepare for next season, when he is expected to compete for a full-time roster spot in the Ducks’ lineup.
Limoges Named AHL Player of the Week Amid Hot Streak
The month of March was good to Alex Limoges. Not only did he end the month on a five-game goalscoring streak, but he also tied the San Diego Gulls’ rookie goalscoring record (20 goals) and was named the AHL Player of the Week. Limoges started this season slowly after faring well in a short stint last season after concluding his collegiate hockey career with Penn State. But it appears that the winger is starting to find his footing, with his first career pro hat trick during the goalscoring streak being one of the high points. If he can impress at training camp, Limoges just might have a shot at cracking the Ducks’ opening night roster, given his goalscoring prowess.
Zellweger Continues to Light Up WHL
Many Ducks fans are still ruing the loss of Hampus Lindholm, but Olen Zellweger could quell those laments sometime in the future. Also part of the Ducks’ 2021 Draft class alongside McTavish, Zellweger has been putting up points at an astronomical pace in the WHL for the Everett Silvertips.
A goal and an assist last night made it six consecutive multi-point games for Zellweger. His combination of shot and skating makes him arguably the most dynamic defenseman in the Ducks’ pipeline, though it’s unlikely that he’ll be knocking on the door for at least another couple of seasons.
Lopina Signs ELC with Ducks, Grabs First AHL Point
Another addition to the Gulls, Josh Lopina signed his entry-level deal with the Ducks earlier this week after his collegiate season with the University of Massachusetts-Amherst concluded. He is a defensive-minded center with a hint of offensive upside.
One area that he excels in is faceoffs and Gulls head coach Joel Bouchard wasn’t afraid to throw the new recruit into the deep end on Friday night when Lopina made his AHL debut. It didn’t take him long to make an impact either, as his shot from a trailing position created a rebound for defenseman Brendan Guhle. Lopina will likely be used in a variety of defensive or high-leverage situations and it’s likely that he could end up carving out a bottom-six role with the Ducks if his development goes well.
- Winnipeg ICE goaltender Gage Alexander is week-to-week with a lower-body injury.
- Tyson Hinds scored a goal for the Sherbrooke Phoenix in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Val-d’Or Foreurs on March 26.
- Sasha Pastujov scored two goals this week for the Guelph Storm.
- Sean Tschigerl had two assists this week for the Calgary Hitmen.
- For the Gulls, Lucas Elvenes had two goals and two assists while Jacob Perreault had one goal and three assists. Bryce Kindopp, Hunter Drew and Axel Andersson also all lit the lamp while Drew, Brayden Tracey and Benoit-Olivier Groulx also added assists.
- Olle Eriksson Ek and Lukáš Dostál finished the week with a negative record, but they did combine to stop a combined 95 of 103 shots in three games.
- Blake McLaughlin and Jackson LaCombe combined for a goal and an assist in the University of Minnesota’s Frozen Four win over Western Michigan on March 27.
As more of the Ducks’ collegiate prospects’ seasons come to an end, there could be more additions coming to the Gulls’ roster as they prepare for yet another playoff run. The Ducks’ prospect cupboard is filling to the brim and it will get even larger this summer.
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.