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Ducks Make Two More Rounds of Roster Cuts
By Thomas Harrington
The Anaheim Ducks made two rounds of roster cuts in the past two days.
Last night, the Ducks made their second round of roster cuts, sending Jack Badini, Nikolas Brouillard, Trevor Carrick, Kodie Curran, Max Golod, Brendan Guhle, Louka Henault, Bryce Kindopp, Nathan Larose, Alex Limoges, Vincent Marleau, Jacob Perreault, Greg Printz, Danny O’Regan, and Brayden Tracey to San Diego, and Gage Alexander to the the WHL. Carrick, Curran, Guhle, and O’Regan all had to clear waivers before being sent down. Vinni Lettieri and Brogan Rafferty also cleared waivers, but remain with the Ducks for now.
Today, Anaheim made their third round of roster cuts, sending Morgan Adams-Moisan, Hunter Drew, Olle Eriksson Ek, and Frank Marotte to San Diego, while Tyson Hinds was sent to the QMJHL and Sasha Pastujov was sent to the OHL. The Ducks also signed Ben Hutton to a professional tryout agreement, leaving them with 37 players left on the training camp roster.
Adams-Moisan, Drew, Eriksson Ek, and Marotte fill out San Diego’s roster even further. Drew didn’t play in any preseason games, but it’s still impressive to last to the third round of roster cuts. Eriksson Ek played in half of one game, and got the win in it. Neither Hinds nor Pastujov played in any preseason games, and that’s not a huge surprise given that both were just drafted. Still, it’s a good sign that both lasted so long in training camp. I expect them both to see some preseason action next year.
No Surprising Cuts
None of the cuts in either group were a surprise. Perreault, Tracey, Kindopp, and Eriksson Ek were all on my dark horse list to possibly make the NHL this year, and there’s still a chance they do later in the season, but it looks like they won’t be on Anaheim’s opening night roster.
Perreault and Kindopp both played in two preseason games for the Ducks and were scoreless, while Tracey played in one preseason game and was scoreless. Eriksson Ek is the least likely of these four to make it to the NHL, but if the injury bug bites Anaheim’s goaltenders hard enough, it could happen. I do think that veterans Curran, Carrick, and Guhle could also get some NHL time at some point this year. Alexander didn’t play in any preseason games and was not the backup in any either. He’ll be back with the Winnipeg Ice. He’ll hopefully get some preseason action next year.
San Diego’s training camp and preseason are about to begin, with their first preseason game on Thursday night, so the Gulls need bodies on their roster. Between these two cuts, they have almost a full roster, so I expect at least a couple more players assigned to the Gulls before that game. Given who is already in San Diego, I expect Eriksson Ek to start the Gulls’ first preseason game.
While none of these cuts were surprising, what was surprising was how long many players drafted in 2021 lasted at training camp. Hinds and Pastujov both made it to the third round of cuts, while Mason McTavish and Olen Zellweger are both still with Anaheim. Of the two, McTavish is the only one who really has a chance at seeing any NHL action, and even that is slim. Zellweger has yet to play in any preseason games, while McTavish has played in two games and scored one goal. Perhaps they’ve been kept up so long so they can get a better understanding of how Anaheim’s system works because of how new they all are to the organization.
37 Players Remain
The Ducks still have 20 forwards on their roster, so six or seven more of them will be cut. The most likely to be cut are Sam Carrick, Lettieri, McTavish, Tobias Rieder, and Buddy Robinson. Benoit-Olivier Groulx has had a great preseason, with two goals and three games, but given that he won’t have to pass through waivers, he’s still likely to be sent down, if the Ducks don’t want to risk losing some of their other players. Personally, I think he’s been good enough to make Anaheim’s roster, but right now, it’s a numbers game. However, if he doesn’t make the opening night roster, given how well he’s played in the preseason, I’m confident he’ll be in Anaheim at some point this season.
The Ducks still have 13 defensemen on their roster, and will likely cut at least five more players, possibly six. Zellweger will certainly be among them, and Rafferty and Greg Pateryn are likely candidates as well. Axel Andersson and Simon Benoit don’t need waivers to be assigned to San Diego and are likely candidates too. Andersson has played in two games and Benoit has played in three, so both are getting a decent amount of playing time before a decision is made.
If the Ducks decide to not sign Hutton, then the odds of one of them staying up increases. Josh Mahura has played in two preseason games so far, and his spot on the roster is far from guaranteed, but he’d have to clear waivers to be assigned to San Diego. I don’t think the Ducks would want to lose him for nothing, so I think he’ll likely be on the roster when the season starts.
In net, the Ducks still have four goaltenders on their roster. Roman Durny will be sent to San Diego. John Gibson will be the starter. The only question is if Lukas Dostal will play well enough to beat out Anthony Stolarz. Dostal has played in a game and a half and looked good, but I still think he’ll start the year in San Diego. Like other players, Stolarz would have to pass through waivers, and I don’t think the Ducks would want to risk losing the veteran goaltender for nothing.
The Ducks need to cut at least 14 more players before opening night, which is just over a week away. It’s pretty obvious who most of those 14 will be, but there’s definitely competition for the sixth, seventh, and eight defensemen, the 12th, 13th, and 14th forwards, and the backup goaltender. The final two preseason games will likely be very important to these positions and the players vying for those final spots.
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October 5th, 2021