Jamie Drysdale Signs a Three-Year Contract With the Anaheim Ducks

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks came to an agreement with a 21-year-old right-shot defenseman, Jamie Drysdale, on a new contract worth $6.9 million over three years. This contract carries an AAV (average annual value) of $2.3 million and will expire after the 2025-26 season. This deal came three days after teammate and fellow RFA Trevor Zegras inked his new contract with the Ducks. This signing has put a bow on the pair of lengthy negotiations, and the duo of young potential star players can focus on getting their developments back on track and rounding out their overall games. 

Jamie Drysdale was the Ducks’ sixth overall selection in the 2020 NHL draft, has played 113 games for the club since then, and has tallied 40 points on seven goals and 33 assists. He saw his first NHL action in the 2020-21 Covid-shortened season when he joined the team after representing Canada in the World Junior Championships and playing 14 games in San Diego for the Gulls of the AHL. His junior league (OHL) was not active that season. Drysdale’s true rookie campaign was the 2021-22 season. That year, he scored four goals and 28 assists for 32 points while playing 81 games, which was good enough for second among rookie defensemen in scoring (Moritz Seider was first). 

Unfortunately for Drysdale and the Ducks, he was forced to miss nearly the entirety of the 2022-23 season. Just eight games into the season, Drysdale suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder after taking a seemingly innocuous hit along the boards behind his net. Drysdale failed to tally a point in those eight games.

Scouting Report

Jamie Drysdale entered the NHL as one of the fastest defensemen in the league. His skating is his trademark, and he uses it in every aspect of the game and in every zone on the ice. Whether it’s retrieving pucks in his own end or leading/joining rushes up ice, Drysdale does it hastily. With the puck on his stick, he consistently makes intelligent reads and won’t be seen turning pucks over or taking unnecessary chances. 

When one watches someone with the tools of Jamie Drysdale and compounds that with his 5’11” 187 lbs frame, they’d be inclined to assume he is a purely offensive dynamic player from the blue line. That assumption would be a disservice to his underrated two-way ability and dedication to the defensive side of the puck. Drysdale is a workhorse whether his team has possession of the puck or doesn’t. He is a sound fundamental defender who couples his skating ability with his anticipation skills and knowledge of angles to kill plays or force attackers into less-than-desirable situations. 

Jamie Drysdale is a true student of hockey. He improves drastically year after year and is willing to put in the work to remedy the largest gaps in his game. When he first entered the league in 2020-21, he struggled with adjusting to the lack of time and space on the ice he was used to when making plays, but the following year, he was thinking steps ahead of his opponents. In 2021-22, he struggled with the size and strength of his opponents in the tight areas of the ice and respected the speed and playmaking ability of the top talents in the league. The next year (however brief it was), he was no longer getting beat out of corners or bullied in front of the net, and his gaps were more polished against talented attackers. He has a distinguishable desire to improve his game consistently, which should eventually see him realize his full potential.

Moving Forward

Jamie Drysdale will join the Anaheim Ducks with nine days and two preseason games left on the schedule before the Ducks open their season in Vegas against the Golden Knights. He will spend that time getting up to NHL game speed and learning to make himself a valuable asset in new head coach Greg Cronin’s system. From what we can gather, the Ducks are looking to play an up-tempo, disruptive, and diligent style. That seems like it would cater perfectly to someone with the skillset, motor, and on-ice values of Drysdale. 

Jamie Drysdale has done remarkable work tuning his defensive abilities over his 113-game NHL career. This could be a year he polishes his offensive game a little more. To this point, he has played a risk-averse brand, but that could be what is limiting his offensive output. We could see him begin to assert himself a little more with the puck on his stick and extend plays a tad more in order to open up more options when looking to move the puck or make a play. What Greg Cronin may be able to unlock in Jamie Drysdale is a very enticing prospect for all Anaheim Ducks supporters. 

On this episode of LAP, the guys cover the week's games and reflect on Jakob Silfverberg's career after the news of his retirement. Leo Carlsson continues to be him and the wait for Cutter Gauthier is prolonged another day. The guys talk about some exciting milestones from around the league and briefly talk about the Coyotes relocation chatter. As always, they close the episode out with listener questions!Follow Late Arrivals Twitter: @latearrivalspodInstagram: @latearrivalspodFollow the hostsChris: @CJKChelJake: @_JRobles71Louis: @Louiex37 Intro/ Outro done by Will Rice/ @pastorwillrice
  1. Episode 83: Ooh Ah
  2. Episode 82: The Thinking Man's Podcast
  3. Episode 81: Whatabummer
  4. Episode 80: It's Only Game
  5. Episode 79: What's Nine Plus Ten?

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