The Anaheim Ducks were able to secure the services of Andrew Cogliano for next season by signing the 24-year-old center to a three-year deal.
The Ducks, who were in dire need of picking up some depth at the center position, now have a player who scored 11 goals and 24 assists for 35 points last season for the Edmonton Oilers to center a line that will most likely feature the likes of Dan Sexton and Matt Beleskey, or possibly other youngsters like Nick Bonino or Kyle Palmieri if they’re willing to play away from their preferred position at center.
Cogliano is particularly known for his blinding speed and his ability to burn defenses purely because of his quickness on the ice.
That speed even won him the title of the NHL’s Fastest Skater at the All-Star Skills Competition in 2009.
But perhaps the most underrated thing about Cogliano is his tenacity and his durability. Since making his NHL debut in the 2007-08 season, Cogliano has not missed a single NHL game, playing all 82 games in each of his four seasons so far.
Having that stability and that consistency when the Ducks need to send their third line over the boards is something the team hasn’t really had for the last couple years, and it looks as though this season could see the return of a good third line as long as the players can find some form of chemistry with one another.
Cogliano will also have the benefit of playing with former-teammate Kurtis Foster, who the Ducks acquired in a separate trade earlier this summer.
If the two of them can keep their chemistry going, the Ducks will no doubt stand to benefit from their prowess on the penalty kill, a unit that proved to ultimately be their Achilles’ Heel last season when a normally-anemic Nashville Predators power play absolutely tore them apart.
The Ducks came into this offseason realizing they didn’t have to fix a lot, and a lot of credit goes to General Manager Bob Murray for not making any drastic changes to the formula that saw the Ducks surge up the NHL’s standings late in the season.
With the way the lineup is set now, there’s really no reason the Ducks won’t be back in the playoff hunt again next season, very likely securing a second-consecutive berth.