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Sport What the Anaheim Ducks are thankful for in 2020

00:15  27 november  2020
00:15  27 november  2020 Source:   prohockeyrumors.com

Ducks' Isac Lundestrom, Devils' Jesper Boqvist recalled from loans

  Ducks' Isac Lundestrom, Devils' Jesper Boqvist recalled from loans Timra of the Allsvenskan in Sweden announced that center Isac Lundestrom (Anaheim) and forward Jesper Boqvist (New Jersey) have both been recalled by their respective teams.  It’s worth noting that both the Ducks and Devils were among the seven teams that didn’t see any action this summer, and as a result, they are expected to be allowed to conduct an expanded training camp. © Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports Isac Lundestrom is heading back to Anaheim. © Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports Isac Lundestrom is heading back to Anaheim.

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It’s Thanksgiving in the United States and the holiday season is right around the corner. Like the last few years, PHR will take a look at what teams are thankful for but this year comes with a bit of a change. Normally teams would have an idea of where their season was heading, coming up on the one-quarter mark with mountains of statistics to analyze. Instead, in this unprecedented year, the season hasn’t even begun. We’ll still take a look at what each group is excited about and what they could hope for once the calendar turns to 2021.

a close up of Ryan Getzlaf in a baseball uniform © Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

What are the Ducks most thankful for?

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Anaheim Ducks ‏Подлинная учетная запись @ AnaheimDucks 9 ч9 часов назад. Fly in formation. Introducing the @ anaheimducks adidas #ReverseRetro jersey. Hitting the ice in 2021. pic.twitter.com/w3jC7AqoEi.

Extended training camp and European leagues.

This isn’t a contending year for the Ducks, who should be more focused on the development of their young prospects than anything else. Teams in that situation are probably incredibly frustrated with the status of junior leagues across North America, with young players like fifth-overall pick Jamie Drysdale unable to play in the OHL so far. Drysdale will get a chance to play at the World Juniors (after his quarantine) but many other youngsters are still waiting on their first competitive action since March.

The Ducks, as one of the teams that did not take part in the summer’s postseason bubble, are expected to receive an extra week of training camp when things finally get going. That will be quality development time for their young players, just like the time they’ve spent overseas in the interim. Lukas Dostal, who is now returning to North America, played 11 games for Ilves in Finland this fall, posting an incredible 10-1 record and .960 save percentage. While other prospects are just begging for ice time, he’s been refining his game against professionals.

First-rounder Urho Vaakanainen, Cooper Zech loaned overseas by Bruins

  First-rounder Urho Vaakanainen, Cooper Zech loaned overseas by Bruins Vaakanainen will grab the headlines here, especially after his name was included in trade speculation recently. The 21-year-old defenseman was a first-round pick in 2017 but has played just seven NHL games to this point. That doesn’t mean his potential has diminished, but the clock is ticking on his opportunity to show he can be a legitimate top-four option for the Bruins. For now, Vaakanainen will return to the club he played for during the 2017-18 season, the last before he came to North America.

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Who are the Ducks most thankful for?

Ryan Getzlaf.

As we head into what will be a shortened season, Ducks fans can’t help but think about the fact that Getzlaf is in the final season of that massive eight-year, $66M deal he signed in 2013. Now 35 and already missing Corey Perry, his partner in crime for more than a decade, the time for Getzlaf in Anaheim is winding down. But everyone that has cheered for the big centerman over the years is thankful for what he’s done for the franchise, constantly providing an anchor in the middle of the lineup and elevating his teammates on a nightly basis.

Though Getzlaf isn’t the 91-point superstar that once was or even the uber-confident youngster that helped the Ducks to a Stanley Cup championship, he’s still a strong leader and easy player to cheer for. While the organization grooms their next wave of leaders, give a thought to Getzlaf who will one day be the focus of a heated Hall of Fame argument (even if he might eventually miss the call).

Defenseman Mikhail Sergachev re-signs with Lightning on three-year, $14.4M deal

  Defenseman Mikhail Sergachev re-signs with Lightning on three-year, $14.4M deal The 22-year-old defenseman would likely be a top-pairing player already on many of the teams around the league. That hasn’t been required in Tampa Bay, where Victor Hedman and Ryan McDonagh continue to soak up huge minutes on the blue line, but Sergachev has still seen substantial increases in playing time each season. This year, his third with the Lightning, he recorded a career-high 10 goals in 70 games, racking up 34 points and logging more than 20 minutes a night.

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What would the Ducks be even more thankful for?

A breakout performance.

While the team has a ton of young high draft picks in the system, they’re still waiting for a real breakout from someone. Like when Getzlaf jumped directly into the league with 39 points in 57 games as a rookie, the Ducks need someone to show they’ll be the next superstar in Anaheim. Troy Terry, Max Jones, Sam Steel, Isac Lundestrom, Trevor Zegras, Benoit-Olivier Groulx, Max Comtois, and on and on, someone needs to step up and become the next face of the franchise.

What should be on the Ducks’ holiday wish list?

Minor league and junior seasons.

If the opportunity isn’t there at the NHL level right away, the Ducks are going to have to hope that the AHL and Canadian junior leagues are able to hold seasons. Remember it’s not just Drysdale that the Ducks drafted in the first round this year, but Jacob Perreault, who is currently waiting on his OHL season to begin. The 27th-overall pick has already signed after scoring 39 goals and 70 points in 57 games last year, but wasn’t invited to Canada’s WJC camp and is too young for the AHL.

Flyers loan Michael Raffl to his hometown Austrian team

  Flyers loan Michael Raffl to his hometown Austrian team Raffl, one of the NHL’s few Austrian players, will get the chance to suit up for his hometown team, Villacher SV of the IceHL. © Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Michael Raffl is heading to Austria to play for his hometown team. Raffl, 31, just signed a two-year extension with the Philly in March and is awaiting the start of his eighth season with the club. In the meantime, the career Flyer is looking for a place to play in preparation for the NHL season, which does not yet have a solidified start date.

If it’s a development year, there need to be development leagues playing.

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