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Prospect Update: Jack Badini
By Thomas Harrington
A third-round pick from 2017, Jack Badini just finished his third and final year of college hockey, having played at Harvard University for all three years.
Badini played in 31 games as a junior, scoring six goals and 14 points, a drop from the eight goals and 20 points he had as a sophomore. Badini had a strong start to the season, recording a goal and five points in his first three games, and had eight points through the first month of the season. Unfortunately, his offensive production dried up after that. He had only one goal in December and followed that up with an assist in January. He had four more points in February and recorded no points in a truncated March. For the second season in a row, he was one of the best in the NCAA at taking draws, finishing the season winning 60.8% of his faceoffs, good for eighth among all Division I players. He finished his college career with 24 goals and 51 points in 97 games.
Badini finished well below the offensive numbers that I was hoping for from a year ago. I was hoping to see a jump in his offensive production to around 15 goals and 30 points. As an upperclassman, I was hoping that he would be given more responsibility and take advantage of more ice-time. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and he finished ninth on the team in scoring. However, despite his lower than hoped for offensive output, he played well enough for Anaheim to sign him after the conclusion of his season.
This coming season will be Badini’s first pro season. I’d love to see him carve out a spot for himself on San Diego’s third or fourth line, but if his offensive production continues to falter, he could see time in the ECHL as well. However, given his faceoff prowess, I’m hoping that he’s able to find time in San Diego’s bottom six and get some time on the penalty kill as well. Many players struggle to adjust to the pro game, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Badini did as well. I don’t think we’ll see Badini in the NHL this coming season, but if he impresses enough, I do think he could make his NHL debut in the 2021-2022 season.
My expectations for Badini are simple. First, just play as much hockey as possible. Whether that’s in the ECHL or AHL, just make sure he does enough to be in the lineup on a consistent basis. Offensive production, especially early on, will be a nice bonus. Second, to improve as the season goes along. If he struggles early on, then I’d like to see him learn from those struggles and get better as a player. Finally, and this is more a bonus if it happens, to see him continue to succeed in the faceoff circle.
Badini signed his entry-level contract with the Ducks towards the end of March. It will run for two years and he’ll be a restricted free agent when it’s over. Unless he comes out of nowhere and becomes one of Anaheim’s top four centers over the next two years, I think he’ll likely get another two-way deal when this one is over.
The next prospect update will be on goaltender Olle Eriksson Ek.
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July 18th, 2020