While the Anaheim Ducks have developed a decent base of young forwards, there are still questions as to which players will turn into legitimate top-six forwards. One of the most promising young players who fits into that category is winger Max Comtois.
Comtois is just 21 years old and split the 2019-20 season between the NHL and AHL, playing 31 games with San Diego and 29 games with Anaheim. He produced at a good rate in both leagues, scoring nine goals and 24 points in the AHL, along with five goals and 11 points with the Ducks, a pace of 15 goals and 31 points per 82 NHL games.
Next season, however, Comtois should be a regular with the Ducks. He still has things to work out in his game but he adjusted fairly well to the NHL last season, especially offensively, and could take another step next season. He was averaging less than 14 minutes per game in the NHL and you can imagine his role will increase for the coming year.
As for where he could play in the lineup, Comtois should take a spot on the third line, playing alongside Sam Steel and Troy Terry. This would allow the more experienced forwards to take on the tougher matchups and allow the younger players to continue to adjust in a more sheltered role. It would mean Max Jones starts on the fourth line but of the four forwards named, he’d be the best fit on the fourth line and so far, has shown the lowest offensive ceiling.
It’s tough to say what Comtois’ long-term role will be with the Ducks and whether he’ll develop into a legitimate top-six forward or more of a middle-six forward. That said, Comtois should get a permanent spot with the Ducks next season, while he can get a great opportunity to earn ice time, despite playing in a somewhat sheltered role.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Will Max Comtois spend the entire 2020-21 season in the NHL?