Anaheim Ducks: Young Offensive Talent Ready To Step In For Bobby Ryan

By Randy Holt
Emerson Etem
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

One of the aspects that is often overlooked in regard to the Anaheim Ducks and the entire Bobby Ryan situation is how they plan to replace him. It’s one of the arguments that folks have made against trading Ryan, as some claim that they don’t have the offensive talent to replace him.

However, that’s not entirely accurate. In fact, the Ducks have young players that could be ready to step up into increased roles next season that would help their offense remain on track. We saw a couple of those players in 2013, others will get a bigger opportunity in the 2013-14 season.

One such player is Emerson Etem. Etem saw an increased role as the season wore on, with an early season trip back to the minors helping him to get his game in order. He only finished the season with 10 points, but was a key offensive presence in the postseason, with five points in only seven games. He’s a big upside player and a future stud for the Ducks.

Then there’s Pat Maroon. His experience with the Ducks includes only 15 games, 13 of them coming during the 2013 season, but he’s a big body with plenty of offensive skill. He doesn’t have quite the scoring touch of Ryan, but will be a productive player between the circles.

There are others as well. Devante Smith-Pelly could be a secondary contributor on offense, assuming he gets the proper opportunity next season. Maybe Peter Holland can finally make an impact in the final year of his entry level contract.

Bottom line for the Ducks is that they have offensive options. If they trade Ryan, they still have two of the best forwards in the league, with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. On top of that, they have plenty more talent on the way up, some of which has already made an appearance with the Ducks.

This only contributes to the theory that the Ducks could actually be better off if they deal Ryan, both from a financial standpoint, and from the point of view of the quality of their roster overall.

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