Getzlaf. Perry. Kesler. Ask an average hockey fan to name another player on the Anaheim Ducks, and they might be left scratching their heads. For all the star power that the Ducks are heralded for, a collection of solid players at every position is what truly sets them apart from other hockey clubs.
It speaks to the talent on the Ducks’ roster (and maybe the luck they’ve had) that they’ve been able to sit two above-average National Hockey League players in James Wisniewski and Jiri Sekac and still be up three games to none against a solid team like the Winnipeg Jets.
Jakob Silfverberg is among those relatively unheralded players that has allowed the Ducks to absolutely overwhelm the Jets in third periods, notably potting the game winner in the dying minutes of game two.
In last year’s playoffs, Silfverberg had a measly two goals without any assists in the Ducks’ thirteen-game run. This year, he already has two goals and two assists in only three games.
Before this spring, the most notable moment in the second-round draft picks’ career may have been getting traded for former Duck Bobby Ryan, who was adored by fans and added to Anaheim’s perceived star power.
Since that trade, Silfverberg has amassed 63 points through 133 regular season games as a Duck. Hardly the stuff of legend, and not nearly what Ducks supporters would have hoped for in return for a budding superstar.
Yet dig a little deeper, and Anaheim has stumbled upon one of the best playmaking wingers in the entire league, and this post-season is essentially Silfverberg putting the rest of the league on notice that he is a force to be reckoned with offensively.
Offensive Leader For Ducks
Per 60 minutes, the Swedish national averaged 1.72 points in the 2014-15 campaign. That’s in the same neighborhood as guys like Joe Thornton, Marian Gaborik, and Jason Spezza. Just being on the same street as Thornton is impressive enough, let alone being next-door neighbors with Gaborik and Spezza.
Possessing a solid skating stride, excellent vision of the ice, and a laser-precision shot, Silfverberg is capable of carrying a line as well as complementing it. Playing on just about every line combination possible for the Ducks this season, Silfverberg never stopped providing offense.
The elite point totals might never come for Silfverberg, who is constantly shuffled in the Anaheim lineup, but 60 to 70 point seasons are easily within his reach.
If the Ducks do indeed reach the promised land, it’s not difficult to imagine that the 24-year old winger will be in for a big raise from the one-year, $850,000 dollar contract that he inked last August.
With already one memorable goal in tow and a stranglehold three to zero series lead, a second Anaheim cup and a sizable new contract for Silfverberg are both looking more and more likely.
Felix Sicard is the Anaheim Ducks’ Lead Writer for The Hockey Writers. Now in his third season of covering the team, he writes previews and recaps for all Ducks’ home games, as well as weekly analysis pieces.
In addition to covering the Ducks at THW, Felix co-hosts SB Nation’s Anaheim Calling: The Podcast, as well as hosting The Garage Hockey Podcast.
For consistent Ducks’ content, be sure to check out his Twitter @Felix_Sicard.