Prediction: With The 31st Overall Pick, The Anaheim Ducks Will Select…

By Thomas Harrington

After drafting Carter Yakemchuk 3rd overall, Anaheim will step back up to the podium with the 31st overall pick. They acquired it from the Edmonton Oilers at the trade deadline in exchange for Adam Henrique and Sam Carrick. The Ducks have a number of options with this late first round pick, but I’m assuming they keep it and draft a second player in the first round. 

Just as I did for the 3rd pick, I have examined several mock drafts and read over scouting reports of players likely to be available when the Ducks pick again. Unsurprisingly, the 31st pick of the draft is much harder to predict than the 3rd. This year especially, there isn’t a lot of consistency among rankings and mock drafts as to who will be chosen towards the end of the first round. The Ducks probably have several players they are considering taking, and while some of them will already have been chosen, they should still have a solid list to choose from. Initially, I had over 40 players that various lists had going either at 31st overall or just before or after. All of this means I’m about to take a shot in the dark here.

I’ve narrowed my list down to nine players who I think will likely be available when the Ducks make their second first round selection. Some of these players will have already been chosen by other teams, but I’m confident some of them will still be available. The players I think Anaheim will be interested in are defenseman Eric Emery, defenseman Charlie Elick, forward Yegor Surin, defenseman Leo Sahlin Wallenius, forward Dean Letourneau, forward Terik Parascak, forward Ryder Ritchie, forward Cole Beaudoin, and forward Sam O’Reilly.

Emery doesn’t bring a ton of offense from the blueline, but he’s one of the better athletes and defensive defensemen in the draft. If the Ducks don’t take Yakemchuk or another of the big right-handed shooting defenseman at the top of the draft, Elick wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize. He doesn’t have the same level of offense, but he’s 6’3” and is an excellent skater. Surin is a fast skater with good offensive instincts and averaged over a point per game in the MHL last season. Wallenius is another excellent skating defenseman with good playmaking abilities. Letourneau is one of the tallest players in the draft, standing at 6’6”, and has good offensive instincts. Of the players that I’ve listed, I think Parascak is probably the most likely to be gone when Anaheim makes their pick. He was dominant in the WHL last year, recording 105 points in 68 games. Ritchie is a playmaking winger who didn’t put up a ton of points last year, but played very well on a not-very-good Prince Albert team. Beaudoin has a high offensive pedigree while also being a very good penalty killer. He was one of the alternate captains for Barrie last year. O’Reilly had a good season, but really came on in the playoffs and at the Memorial Cup. It is also likely that some of these players will be available in the second round and the Ducks could pick them then instead.

With the 31st overall pick, I predict the Ducks will select forward Cole Beaudoin.

While he doesn’t have the highest offensive ceiling, he looks like a player who is going to play NHL games and find success. He needs to work on his skating going forward, but as long as that improves, we’ll see him in an Anaheim uniform sooner rather than later.

After making these first two picks, the Ducks will have seven more picks in the draft, including two in the second round and three in the third round. After getting a defenseman and a center on day one, the Ducks will likely pick up at least a few wingers on day two. While the Ducks do draft the best player available, they have a very strong group of young centers and defensemen either in the NHL or about to be, while their talent on the wings is not as strong.

It will also be interesting to see if the Ducks choose a goaltender this year. After signing undrafted free agent Tomas Suchanek, it feels like there’s less of a need to pick one this year. But, with so many picks, it wouldn’t shock me if the Ducks do take a goaltender at some point. Hopefully the Ducks will be able to find some NHL talent on day two, the way they have in years past with Henry Thrun in the fourth round, Jackson LaCombe in the second round, Lukas Dostal in the third round, Troy Terry in the fifth round, or Ondrej Kase in the seventh round.

Related Article:

3rd Overall Prediction

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June 27th, 2024


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