The Ducks Are in a Prime Position to Add This Summer

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General manager Pat Verbeek told Ducks season ticket holders on Saturday at the Ducks Migration event that the Ducks plan to add a top-six right-shot winger this summer. With another season of being sellers at the trade deadline, the Ducks have put themselves in a good position to seriously add to their roster this summer.

This year’s deadline for the Ducks was highlighted by the departures of Ilya Lyubushkin, Adam Henrique, and Sam Carrick. Lyubushkin was sent to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a third-round pick, and Henrique and Carrick were dealt to the Edmonton Oilers for a first-round pick and a conditional fifth-round pick that turns into a fourth-rounder if the Oilers win the Stanley Cup.

Going into the summer, the Ducks have nine picks in this year’s draft, with seven of those picks coming in the first three rounds. The Ducks have two first-rounders, two second-rounders, and three third-rounders.

With all these picks, the Ducks have put themselves in a position to utilize these picks to acquire NHL-ready talent through trade to fill the holes in the roster. The Ducks are also in line for a top-five pick in the draft, and I would assume they are not open to trade it, but stranger things have happened.

In this rebuild that is now going on a franchise-worst sixth season in a row without playoffs, the Ducks have done an excellent job drafting their core for the future, with Troy Terry, Trevor Zegras, Leo Carlsson, and Mason McTavish being the pillars of the forward group and Pavel Mintyukov and Olen Zellweger emerging as top-pairing caliber defenseman. Not to mention, the Ducks traded for one of the game’s top forward prospects in, Cutter Gauthier, back in February, who is expected to join the Ducks once his season at Boston College is complete. 

The Ducks currently have a 23-and-under core that ranks in the top five in the league, with all of the star power already at the NHL level, which means it’s time to build the rest of the roster. The Ducks pretty much know what their top-six looks like, and they have the left side of the blueline taken care of with Mintyukov, Zellweger, Jackson LaCombe, and Cam Fowler.

If Verbeek stays true to his word and is looking to add a top-six right-shot winger, a trade may be the way to go because the list of unrestricted free agents that fit the criteria is slim. Realistically, there are only three players that fit Verbeek’s criteria that I could see the Ducks try to target: Sam Reinhart, Jonathan Marchessault, and Elias Lindholm. Given how expensive Reinhart’s price tag will be and how Marchessault is already 33 years-old and is also likely to get a solid pay-day, Lindholm appears to be the player that makes the most sense among those three.

Another hole in the Ducks’ lineup is right-handed defenseman. There are currently two right-handed defensemen on the Ducks’ roster, Radko Gudas and Gustav Lindström. Some right-handed defenseman among the unrestricted free agent class this summer that would make sense for the Ducks to target are Brett Pesce, Matt Roy, Sean Walker and former Duck Brandon Montour.

The salary cap will rise from $83.5 million to $87.5 million this summer, so that gives the Ducks even more flexibility to their already large cap space. Going into this summer, the Ducks will have $34.6 million in cap space to play with.

The Ducks do have eight restricted free agents this summer in Isac Lundeström, Max Jones, Pavol Regenda, Brett Leason, Benoit-Oliver Groulx, Gustav Lindström, Jackson LaCombe and Urho Vaakanainen. It is unlikely that the Ducks sign all of them, but even if they did, the contracts are unlikely to cost much.

With $34.6 million of cap space and seven draft picks in the first three rounds of the draft, the Ducks have an opportunity to severely improve the roster and make a push for the playoffs.

Episode 84: Call Your Dad Late Arrivals: An Anaheim Ducks Podcast

The 23-24 season has finally come to a close… well for the Ducks at least. The guys talk the last games of the season and give their player grades for the year. The guys discover that randomly, Cam Fowler is roasted by NHL dot com for some reason and the guys talk about a certain pending UFA again. The guys also give their Round One predictions for the Stanley Cup Playoffs and answer listener questions!Follow Late Arrivals Twitter: @latearrivalspodInstagram: @latearrivalspodFollow the hostsChris: @CJKChelConnor: @91_PlutyJake: @_JRobles71Louis: @Louiex37 Intro/ Outro done by Will Rice/ @pastorwillrice
  1. Episode 84: Call Your Dad
  2. Episode 83: Ooh Ah
  3. Episode 82: The Thinking Man's Podcast
  4. Episode 81: Whatabummer
  5. Episode 80: It's Only Game

Jack Janes

Journalism major at the University of La Verne. Writer for Inside The Rink covering the Anaheim Ducks.

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