The Anaheim Ducks made quite a few moves at the trade deadline last season, with one of the more notable moves being the acquisition of forward Sonny Milano from Columbus.
Between his time with the Blue Jackets and Ducks last season, Milano scored seven goals and 23 points in 55 games, a pace of 10 goals and 34 points per 82 games. Next season, however, there’s a good chance we see those numbers increase.
Over 116 total games with Columbus, Milano averaged just 11:51 per game in ice time and in the 2019-20 season, he was only playing slightly more, averaging 12:38 per game. He also averaged just 1:02 per game on the power play last season.
In Anaheim, however, Milano already looked poised to take on a bigger role. He averaged 15:30 per game with the Ducks at the end of the season and his power play time was also doubled, averaging 2:05 per game on the man advantage.
We saw a sneak peek of what Milano can do with a larger role, scoring two goals and five points in nine games after joining the Ducks. Milano averaged 1.81 points per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 last season and given that it’s likely he gets a spot in Anaheim’s top-six next season, I think it’s highly probable that we see an increase in his goal and point totals.
Considering Anaheim’s lack of legitimate top-six talent up front, Milano is getting a chance with the Ducks that he probably wouldn’t get with a lot of other teams. He’ll likely play over 15 minutes per game and will get more power play time as well, which is a huge increase from the role he had with the Blue Jackets.
Milano has a real shot to solidify himself as a top-six forward, or at the very least, a strong middle-six forward with the Ducks and this season will need to be a step in that direction. He’s still just 24 years old and after just signing a two-year deal, we know that Anaheim was willing to invest in him as a player. I’d say the goal should be for Milano to score around 40 or 45 points next season and he should have every opportunity to make that happen.
Anaheim is the perfect fit for Milano and he’ll need to capitalize on his opportunity to make sure he’s not leapfrogged in the lineup. This season will be key for Milano to show that he can become, at minimum, a quality middle-six forward for the Ducks.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
How many points do you expect from Sonny Milano next season?