A look back at the 2009 Anaheim Ducks draft part 3

By Jeff Shibley

Now in part 3 we are into the later rounds of the 2009 draft for the Anaheim Ducks part 1 can be found here, and part 2 can be found here.

3rd round 76th- Igor Bobkov was the highest the Anaheim Ducks had taken a goalie in the draft since they took Ilya Bryzgalov in the 2nd round of the 2000 draft. He was also the Ducks top goalie prospect since Bryzgalov. That is until last years draft when the Ducks took John Gibson with there highest pick ever for a goalie with the 39th pick. Now the Ducks have 2 top drafted goalie prospects in probably the first time in franchise history. The thing that sticks out the most with Bobkov is his size. At 6’6″ 220 lbs. If Bobkov does end up making it to the NHL one day he would be the biggest goalie in Ducks history. Bobkov has had an up and down road to his career so far. He had a really bad season in his first in North America on a good London Knights team as a back up goalie. Then he went on to win gold at the WJC with Russia the same year. In the off season he was traded to the Kingston Frontenacs. The Frontenacs was not a good of a team as the Knights, but it gave Bobkov a chance to be a starter for the first time. I talk to one person that had the chance to watch the Frontenacs regularly last season, and he told me that Bobkov was by far the best player on a really bad team. Bobkov went from playing only 21 games with London to playing 58 games with Kingston, and his stats really improved with the extra playing time even though the new team wasn’t as good. It is also good to know in his only 6 games in the AHL his stats improved even more, which is a good sign as he is expected to spend most, if not all of next season with the Ducks new AHL affiliate the Norfolk Admirals. If everything goes well it isn’t out of the question to see a Gibson/Bobkov tandem for the Ducks when the Jonas Hiller/Viktor Fasth tandem is done in a few years.

4th round 106th- One of the most intriguing prospect in the Ducks organization is defensive prospect Sami Vatanen. Vatanen becomes an even more valuable prospect now that the other top defensive prospect in the organization Justin Schultz is most likely gone. Vatanen is considered one of the top prospects in Finland. He has all the skill you would ever want from a prospect. Like Bobkov Vatanen also had a very great showing at the WJC scoring highlight real goals on end to end rushes. The one question on everyones mind is if he is big enough to play defense at the NHL level. At 5’10” 177 lbs. there is reason for concern. It looks like Vatanen will play in North America for the first time this upcoming season. He will most likely spend most of the season in the AHL with Bobkov, but there is a chance that he makes the jump to the NHL if he earns a spot in training camp.

in the 5th and 6th rounds the Ducks took Radoslav Illo, and Scott Valentine. The Ducks decided not to sign Valentine and he is currently a part of the Nashville Predators organization. As for Illo he is the only player the Ducks 2009 draft that is currently unsigned. He spent the last 2 seasons playing for Bemidji State University in Minnesota. So far it looks like he will return for a 3rd season and after that we should find out if he has a future with the Ducks organization, or elsewhere.

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