Anaheim Ducks: Which Offensive Prospect Will Get the Most Playing Time This Year?

If there is an NHL season, the Anaheim Ducks have more than a few vacant winger spots that will need to be filled by opening night. If there is to be another free agent signing from Anaheim, it would be unusually late and they don’t have much to pick from in the remaining free agent pool.

This means that at least one or two wingers from Anaheim’s talent rich farm system will get some significant playing time and a sizable chance to prove themselves this coming season. When you look at who they have to choose from, it might make sense they appear to be opting for homegrown talent as opposed to someone out of free agency.  They’re certainly going to have some decent options, so we’ll look at a few of those options and see who might have the greatest impact and get the most playing time.

Emerson Etem

Etem is a pure goal scorer and, having racked up huge numbers at the junior level, he could have a real shot at making the team coming out of training camp. Considering Anaheim’s lack of depth at left wing, Etem–who shoots left–could be a regular on the Ducks roster this year, especially if he can migrate his scoring touch from the junior level to the NHL.

Rickard Rakell

With the potential to be a solid depth player and possibly a top six forward, Rakell might be one of the safer choices for the Ducks if they want to bring up someone to bolster the wing positions on the third and fourth line. He probably wouldn’t be expected to turn out a lot of offense, so that might ultimately give him a wider window of success.

Peter Holland

Holland at this point is Anaheim’s top prospect at the center position and is very likely to get a serious look this year with the inevitable retirement of Saku Koivu looming. At this point the Ducks have no real viable replacement for Koivu, so the hope is that Holland will eventually become that replacement. For that to happen, he’ll have to see some ice time. I would expect that out of all the Anaheim prospects, Holland will get the most attention and ice time.

Kyle Palmieri

Compared to the other three players on this list, Palmieri has had a lot of experience at the NHL level. Last year he appeared in 18 regular season games, tallying four goals and seven points. That’s pace for a 30 plus point season, and since Bruce Boudreau knows that Palmieri has NHL experience, he might get the edge over Rakell and Etem. I’d suspect as far as ice time goes, he’ll still take a back seat to Holland, simply due to the fact that Anaheim is in such dire need of center behind Ryan Getzlaf.

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  • Sam D.

    The Ducks need to get bigger, faster, and younger and to that end, I expect to see these 4 players get long looks in training camp and maybe into the season.

    Patrick Maroon

    LW 6’4″ 230 Led Syracuse with 32 goals and 42 assists and +17. He reminds me of a more skilled and more motivated version of Dustin Penner. He can play in front of the net or grind in the corners. His +17 indicates that he also plays a good defensive game. He is 24 years old.

    Peter Holland

    C 6’3″ 200 Had a 4 game call up to the Ducks and scored a goal on a pretty wrist shot against Roberto Luongo. He finished his first season in the AHL at Syracuse with 23 goals, 37 assists and a +8. If the Ducks do not make a trade for a legitimate #2 center (like Peter Stastny) then I have no problem giving the job to Holland and telling him it is his to lose. At this stage, Saku Koivu will be a terrific #3 center but he is just an average #2 at best and Daniel Winnik is not the answer either. Holland is 21 years old. Maroon and Holland add size and youth to the lineup.

    Kyle Palmieri

    RW 5’11″ 195 Played 18 games in Anaheim last year with 4 goals, 3 assists, and a +3. In Syracuse he posted 33 goals, 25 assists, and a +10. Coach Boudreau liked what he saw of Palmieri last season and the only reason he was sent back down, was to help the Crunch in their playoff push after the Ducks were eliminated from the playoffs. It is Palmieri’s time to start to shine in Anaheim. He is 21 and is quicker and faster than he appears.

    Emerson Etem

    RW 6’0″ 190 Led the CHL in goal scoring last season with 61 goals. He added 46 assists, for 107 point season. In the WHL playoffs he scored scored 7 goals with 6 assists for Medicine Hat before their playoff run ended. He then joined Syracuse for their playoff push and added 1 goal in 2 regular season games and 2 more goals in 4 AHL playoff games for the Crunch. All together Etem played in 78 games with 71 goals and 52 assists for 123 points. He is a scoring machine who is only 20 years old and skates like the wind. He needs a long look.

    These 4 players will add size to the lineup as well as some speed and some much needed secondary scoring punch, and of course an injection of youth to go along with Devante Smith-Pelly (20), Cam Fowler (20), and Luca Sbisa (22).

    These are the line combos I would like to see get long looks by the coaching staff in camp and pre-season games…

    Maroon – Getzlaf – Perry
    Ryan – Holland – Palmieri
    Selanne – Koivu – Etem
    Cogliano – Winnik/Bonino – Smith-Pelly

    I think this is a good combination of youth and vets, size and speed, scoring and checking. Boudreau likes to roll 4 lines and with this group of forwards he will be able to. There is more depth with this group also, assuming no trades, we have a 5th line of Matt Belesky, Winnik or Bonino, and Brad Staubitz.