The team has some new faces in a few spots, some players have been promoted to some bigger roles for the 2015 season and it will all have somewhat of an impact on how you should approach the Ducks for your hockey pool team.
For the most part, you'll have a couple of your favourite Anaheim players, who will likely feature early in your hockey pool draft and then you will have to decide where you'll feel comfortable taking the new and promoted faces. Below, I have my projected numbers for the Ducks players, starting with the projected roster and then some of the players that they have signed on, who still have a chance to earn a job for the coming year.
|Forwards||14/15 Proj||Cap Hit||Defense||14/15 Proj||Cap Hit||Goaltenders||14/15 Proj||Cap Hit|
|Corey Perry||85||8.625||Cam Fowler||45||4.000||Frederik Andersen||65||1.150|
|Ryan Getzlaf||85||8.250||Sami Vatanen||35||1.263||John Gibson||40||0.722|
|Ryan Kesler||60||5.000||Hampus Lindholm||25||0.894|
|Andrew Cogliano||45||3.000||Ben Lovejoy||20||1.100|
|Jakob Silfverberg||40||0.851||Francois Beauchemin||15||3.500|
|Kyle Palmieri||35||1.467||Bryan Allen||10||3.500|
|Matt Beleskey||35||1.350||Clayton Stoner||5||3.250|
|Dany Heatley||35||1.000||Mark Fistric||5||1.267|
|BUYOUTS & OTHER||1.150|
|Rickard Rakell||20||0.894||Sheldon Souray||0||3.667|
First Round Picks
The Ducks' dynamic duo of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf should be walking hand-in-hand in the scoring race again this year, as I have them meeting in the middle from where they finished last season, right in the neighbourhood of over a point-per-game. Both players have been somewhat up-and-down over the last few seasons, but they always carry potential for some top 10 seasons.
Most Intriguing or Breakout Player
The Anaheim Ducks started a new era in their crease just before the playoffs, demoting Jonas Hiller to the number three spot and giving the reins to Fredrik Andersen and John Gibson. Andersen becomes the most intriguing player on the basis that he should likely get the first crack at taking the number one job out of training camp. Andersen had the job going into the playoffs and ended up getting hurt, giving up the job by default. Andersen won 20 games last season and should break out if he gets the minutes that a number one does.
Other Pool Worthy Forwards
The Ducks are going to be a deep team up front, beyond their top two. The acquisition of Ryan Kesler immediately gives the team some depth and a centre that can likely help some of their other key wingers. Andrew Cogliano and Jakob Silfverberg are poised to help the team out substantially, while the team will toil with a couple wingers looking to improve upon last season and another that is trying to reclaim his name (Dany Heatley). The Ducks did see some departures in the off-season, but by the look of their projections, they should be able to make up for them and still put together a good year.
Other Pool Worthy Defense
On defense, the team has done well to find some blueliners to solidify the space in front of their goalies, but may not have done enough to put more assists on the board. Cam Fowler, Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm should all be decent options for your hockey pool team, but with some uncertainty about their goaltending and how they'll last over the stretch, confidence may hinder the overall numbers. It could swing the opposite way, but betting on the long season, it seems less likely.
Beating a dead horse? Possibly. No matter how good the tandem was in relief last year, both Andersen and Gibson have a monsterous task ahead of them, taking on the 82-game season on their own. The team in front of them will be good and they will be able to find wins and points for us poolies, but I could see them more in a platoon role, than having a true number one, although they will try to give the older Andersen a few more reps. This appears to me to be the most likely scenario.
Team To Pick From Late?
Definitely. When you are getting down to the depths of the late rounds in the draft and you're in need of those players to get you through, I think Anaheim will have a reasonable amount of depth to choose from and maybe even find a bargain player.
Unsigned Players and Salary Cap
There is only one more restricted free agent left on the books for the Ducks, as Devante Smith-Pelly is still in need of a brand new deal. The team is likely hoping to get Smith-Pelly on a bridge deal, like they did with Silfverberg earlier in August, who signed a 1-year deal. The Ducks have room to move, still having $14 million left on their books, which leads me to believe that they're playing as a budget team for the year. They could have spent more money, but it doesn't look like they needed to.
Defenseman Sheldon Souray is now in the last year of his current deal and with not playing at all in the 2014 season, it appears that his wrist injury has indeed gotten the better of him. We should expect to see him on the Long Term Injury Reserve to start the season and likely retire at the end of the year.