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The Anaheim Ducks open their season against the Winnipeg Jets tonight and before Game 1, we’re taking a look at how the Ducks might look after Game 82.
The Ducks finished second last in the league last season and after a relatively quiet offseason, they aren’t set up much better. The major addition is Mason McTavish, who the team selected third overall this year, and we’ll be able to see other young stars develop as well, like Jamie Drysdale and Trevor Zegras. Despite some promising young talent though, Anaheim looks to be well out of the playoff picture.
We already know the Vegas Golden Knights are a playoff lock and we can assume that after some roster additions, the Edmonton Oilers should be back in the postseason as well. The rest of the division is pretty wide open though, with four other teams who didn’t make the playoffs last year - being the Calgary Flames, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks - and an expansion team in the Seattle Kraken.
However, after some pretty major offseason additions in Conor Garland and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, the Vancouver Canucks will compete for a playoff spot. The Kraken are also very solid in net and on the blue line and look set to have a fairly decent inaugural season.
The Flames were quite a bit better than the Ducks last season and with Blake Coleman and Nikita Zadorov added to the mix, that should remain the case this year. Then you look at the Los Angeles Kings, who were more active this offseason than almost any other team in the league, and the Ducks should be back near the bottom of the standings this season.
There’s a chance that if some of the Ducks’ younger players step up, the team could leapfrog the San Jose Sharks. For now though, it does look as though Anaheim will be back at the bottom of the division once again.
Prediction: Ducks finish 8th in Pacific Division
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OTHER ARTICLES FROM OCTOBER
Ducks sign Ben Hutton to PTO
Ducks reveal opening night roster