Several of the Anaheim Ducks’ prospects continue to shine in their respective leagues. Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale may still be considered prospects but they’re not the only ones making headlines now. With the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship quickly approaching, Ducks fans will have the opportunity to see a portion of potential future Ducks make their mark.
Quartet of Ducks Prospects Make WJC Squads
Mason McTavish and Olen Zellweger arrived at Team Canada’s World Juniors camp last week and officially made the cut for the finalized squad this week. Both players are expected to play plenty of big minutes during the tournament and both should be key pieces on the power play as well.
McTavish, who was drafted third overall this summer by the Ducks and made his NHL debut on Opening Night––he also scored that night, has been on fire since being returned to the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).
Zellweger has been an offensive dynamo for the Everett Silvertips in the Western Hockey League (WHL) and also has the benefit of being a newly-assigned alternate captain this season. His combination of skating and puck skills give Canada a mobile, offensively-minded player on their blue line to combine with 2021 first-overall pick, Owen Power.
Across the border, Sasha Pastujov and Ian Moore made the cut for Team USA. It was no surprise that Pastujov made the team, given his scoring exploits for the Guelph Storm in the OHL this season. Moore, who plays at Harvard University with fellow Ducks prospect Henry Thrun, is in his first collegiate hockey season and currently has three assists in 11 games.
Pastujov Reaches 20 Goals
In his final game before heading to World Juniors camp, Pastujov scored his 20th goal of the season. After initially deciding to play collegiate hockey at Notre Dame, he rescinded his decision and signed an entry-level deal with the Ducks, joining the Storm. The decision has played out well for Pastujov, who has had a Midas-like effect with the puck every time he touches it.
There’s a good chance that Pastujov will be one of the main offensive threats on Team USA during the World Juniors tournament and could play a similar role on the power play to that of Arthur Kaliyev at last year’s World Juniors squad.
Hinds Nets Career-High in Assists
2021 NHL Entry Draft third-round pick Tyson Hinds has been steadily producing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) since an early-season injury abruptly halted his season. Hinds tallied a career-high three assists last week in Rimouski-Océanic’s 7-1 blowout win.
Former QMJHL player and current NHL agent Taylor MacDougall tweeted on Sunday that Hinds leads all 2003-born QMJHL defensemen in points per game since being acquired by Rimouski-Océanic last January.
Hinds, along with Pastujov, McTavish, and Zellweger, are part of a strong 2021 Ducks draft class. Each of their 2021 picks has done well this season and show how exceptional the Ducks’ scouting staff has been over the last decade and beyond.
Gulls Struggling Offensively
The San Diego Gulls in the American Hockey League (AHL) are going through a bit of a cold spell offensively right now. They did beat the Ontario Reign 3-1 last Saturday but managed just one goal in two games this week against the Abbotsford Canucks and Bakersfield Condors.
The Gulls did receive solid goaltending from Olle Eriksson Ek while Lukas Dostal was up with the big club but that’s been about the extent of positive news. AHL signing Sean Josling did score his first career AHL goal last night though, a terrific shot from the slot.
- Sean Tschigerl recorded an assist for the Calgary Hitmen in their 4-3 shootout loss to the Prince Albert Raiders last Saturday.
- Gage Alexander backstopped the Winnipeg ICE to a 5-2 win against the Edmonton Oil Kings, stopping 28 of 30 shots. He did, however, suffer a 4-1 loss this week to the Prince Albert Raiders, where he stopped 18 of 21 shots.
- Ethan Bowen returned from injury and went scoreless in his first game back for the Chilliwack Chiefs but had two assists in the following game against the Langley Rivermen in a 4-1 win. He also scored a goal last night against the Coquitlam Express in a 4-3 win.
- Kyle Kukkonen scored a goal in the Madison Capitols’ 6-4 loss to the Green Bay Gamblers on Thursday.
Related: Ducks News & Rumors: Gibson, Comtois & More [being posted today, please link if possible!]
With collegiate hockey taking a break until January, there’s a little bit less prospects news to cover. But prospect coverage will ramp up for several teams over the course of the next few weeks thanks to World Juniors. Make sure you’re following our terrific World Juniors coverage team for all the latest updates throughout the tournament.
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Derek Lee is a contributor for The Hockey Writers covering the Anaheim Ducks. Derek has spent nearly two decades immersed in the world of sports and has been writing about sports for five years. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Communication in May 2020 from UCCS in Colorado Springs, Colo., where he also spent two and a half years on staff with their on-campus student newspaper–both as a sports reporter and editor. In his free time, he enjoys playing FIFA, curating his Spotify playlists and attending concerts & sporting events