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Ducks Draft Day Two Recap
By Thomas Harrington
The Anaheim Ducks began day two of the draft with six picks: 42nd overall, 53rd overall, 107th overall, 139th overall, 154th overall, and 178th overall. The Ducks kept all six picks and did not make any moves during the draft. With their picks, Anaheim chose defenseman Noah Warren 42nd overall, defenseman Tristan Luneau 53rd overall, center Ben King 107th overall, winger Connor Hvidston 139th overall, winger Michael Callow 154th overall, and goaltender Vyacheslav Buteyets 178th overall.
Warren and Luneau have played together for the past two years and have been friends since they were 10. It would be great to see both of them make it to the NHL together. Overall, Anaheim chose three defensemen, two centers, two wingers, and one goaltender in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. Two of these players are Russian; this is the first time they’ve picked two Russian players since 2001, when they chose Stanislav Chistov in the first round and Vladimir Korsunov in the fourth round. Anaheim really went for size in this draft, as no player chosen was shorter than 6’2”. They also picked arguably the three best prospects coming out of the QMJHL with Gaucher in the first round and Warren and Luneau in the second round.
Warren has played for the Gatineau Olympiques in the QMJHL for the past two years. He doesn’t wow with his offense, but he is a very solid defensive player and a very good skater, especially for his size at 6’5”. Warren is known to be a very good athlete, one of the best in the draft class, and his overall play just got better as the season went on. He also knows how to hit, and laid out top prospect and fourth overall pick Shane Wright at a CHL top prospects game earlier this year. Warren scored five goals and 24 points in 62 games this past season. In the playoffs, he recorded one assist in seven games. He’s also a right-handed shooting defenseman. If he works out, he could be a Josh Manson replacement down the line. Warren will likely spend the next two years in Gatineau before joining San Diego in the 2024-2025 season.
Luneau has also played for Gatineau for the past two years, but has more of an offensive upside than his friend Warren. He was on my initial list of 30 players who Anaheim might pick at 22nd overall, so I’m very happy to see them pick him in the second round. Luneau scored 12 goals and 43 points in 63 games this past season, leading Gatineau’s defense in points, and followed that up with six assists in seven playoff games. He’s a good skater with a good two-way game. He’s another right-handed shooting defenseman who can do some damage on the powerplay. He also won the QMJHL defensive rookie of the year award in the 2020-2021 season. Similar to Warren, I expect Luneau to spend the next two years in the QMJHL and then join the Gulls in the 2024-2025 season.
King is an overage draft pick who was passed over in the past two drafts. He played for the Red Deer Rebels in the WHL for the past two and a half seasons and the Swift Current Broncos before that. This past season he scored 52 goals and 105 points in 68 games and followed that up with four goals and 10 points in 10 playoff games. King led the WHL in goals and was second in points. He’s another big player, standing at 6’3”, and is a right-handed shot. Given his age, there’s a chance that he could actually join the Gulls as early as this coming season. He just dominated the WHL, so I’m not sure if him going back to juniors for an overage season is going to be all that helpful for his development. If he signs his entry-level deal in the coming weeks, I think we’ll see him in San Diego this season.
After taking one of the older players in the draft, the Ducks chose one of the youngest next, as Hvidston won’t be 18 until September. This past season was his first in the WHL, playing for the Swift Current Broncos. He scored 13 goals and 32 points in 58 games. He finished sixth on the team in goals and eighth in points. Hvidston also played for Canada at the World Juniors under 18 tournament, scoring a goal and two points in four games. He’s another big kid at 6’2”, but he needs to fill out; he’s listed at only 164 pounds. He’s definitely a bit of a project and will spend at least the next two years in the WHL.
Callow played primarily for St. Sebastian’s School this past season, scoring 26 goals and 41 points in 25 games. He led his team in goals and was second in points. He continues the theme of large players, standing at 6’4”. Callow is committed to Harvard University this coming season. Expect him to spend three or four years at Harvard before looking to turn pro.
Buteyets played in the VHL and MHL in Russia this past season. He’s another overage pick, and the second overage Russian player Anaheim has picked recently, after choosing Artyom Galimov in 2020. In the VHL, Buteyets played in 11 games for Chelmet Chelyabinsk and had a record of 6-2-2 with a 2.49 goals against average and a .918 save percentage. In the MHL he played in 17 games for Belye Medvedi Chelyabinsk and had a record of 7-7-1 with a 3.03 goals against average and a .890 save percentage. The VHL is Russia’s second tier hockey league behind the KHL, and the MHL is its junior league. Buteyets is scheduled to play for Chelmet in the VHL this coming season. I wouldn’t expect him to come stateside for several years.
The Ducks significantly bolstered their defensive prospect pipeline over the past two days, while adding significant size at every position. I don’t expect any of these players to show up in Anaheim next season, but we could see a lot of them in Anaheim or San Diego in the next two to three years. Surprisingly enough, it’s their fourth round pick who we will likely see first in San Diego given King’s age. The Ducks drafted three defensemen who have top four potential, and a center who could be a solid second or third line center someday. The rest of the picks will hopefully turn into NHL players, or at least AHL regulars. Overall, this looks like a good draft for Anaheim, but it will be several years before we really know how good was.
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July 8th, 2022