The NHL Draft is tomorrow and the Anaheim Ducks are set up well with two first-round picks. Leading up to the draft, I’ve been looking at 11 prospects who the Ducks could select at 27th overall and I’ve already released the first two parts of this series, which you can read below.
Before doing this, I created a list of 23 players who I think are unlikely to slip as far as 27th. Those players are: Lafreniere, Byfield, Stutzle, Raymond, Perfetti, Rossi, Drysdale, Holtz, Quinn, Sanderson, Askarov, Lundell, Mercer, Guhle, Jarvis, Zary, Holloway, Lapierre, Amirov, Schneider, Bourque, Gunler, Perreault.
If any of those players are available, the Ducks should have an easy pick. However, assuming they won’t be, here are the third set of players:
Peterka’s production was quite a bit lower than that of his fellow high-ranked German prospects, Tim Stutzle and Lukas Reichel. He scored seven goals and 11 points in 42 DEL games this past season, though he is fairly consistently ranked by analysts/outlets to go between 20th and 30th overall.
He’s a fairly strong skater, a good playmaker and has good puck control. He also has a very accurate shot and is generally strong in every area, without any major weak spots.
That said, to me at least, there’s nothing that reality stands out about his game. If he’s still around at 27th overall he’d be a safe pick, though I question how high he’d be able to play in the lineup.
Poirier is similar to Helge Grans in the sense that if you simply look at his stats, you’d be thinking “how could the Ducks possibly pass on this guy at 27th overall?”
He scored 20 goals and 53 points in 64 games this past season as a left-handed defenseman and has huge offensive upside. He’s very comfortable skating with the puck through the neutral zone and stepping around opposing players in order to get a shot from a better location.
However, Poirier is a bit too comfortable making moves with the puck and is always playing offense-first hockey. He can end up out of position after getting caught too deep in the offensive zone and is frustrating to watch in his own end.
While Poirier may have huge offensive upside, his defensive liabilities make him a player the Ducks may have to consider looking at later in the draft if he's still available, rather than at 27th overall.
Wallinder is a huge left-handed defenseman, already standing at 6-foot-4. He played in the J20 SuperElit this past season and while his offensive numbers weren’t as strong as those of Helge Grans, he still managed 24 points in 37 games.
He can move well for a player his size and likes to lead a rush. That said, while he’d certainly be good for making zone entries, he’s not a huge difference-maker once his team is set up in the offensive zone. On the defensive side of things, Wallinder is decent and is certainly better than Poirier.
It’s hard to project whether or not Wallinder could be an effective NHL defenseman and like many players late in the first round, he’d be a risk.
Wiesblatt is teammates with Kaiden Guhle in Prince Albert and managed 25 goals and 70 points in 64 WHL games this past season. He’s a hardworking winger who will both skate with the puck and forecheck hard to chase after a puck.
The issue for many teams will likely be his size, as Wiesblatt stands at just 5-foot-10. He also doesn’t really have huge defining attributes that would separate him from other forwards, in my opinion.
In terms of the Ducks selecting Wiesblatt, it’ll probably come down to who’s left at that point. There’s also a good chance that he’d still be available when the Ducks pick 34th overall, so Anaheim could go after him there.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Which player would you be in favour of the Ducks taking 27th overall?