By Tasha Florentz-Clift
I always love going to the annual Anaheim Ducks Prospect Camp and scrimmages! It is a great way to check out the new kids that were just drafted and see how our other prospects are growing as hockey players.
This year we had six of our seven 2015 draftees at the scrimmage on Saturday. Jacob Larsson(D), Julius Nattinen(F), Deven Sideroff(F), Troy Terry(F), Steven Ruggiero(D), and Garrett Metcalf(G). The only player who was not able to make it to the camp scrimmage was Brent Gates(F).
The Ducks also had some College Tryouts/Invites Jake Hildebrand(G), Nic Nonis(D), Dennis Kravchenko(F), Eric Scheid(F) and Patrick Russel(F).
And a few were Junior Invites Lane Pederson(F), Chad Heffernan(F),C.J Garcia(D), Nathan Noel(F) and Veini Vehvilainen(G). There was a total of 3 Free Agents Ryan Faragher(G), Matt Berry(F) and Bryan Moore(F).
The rest of the players were past Ducks draft picks or trades to Anaheim. Nick Ritchie(2014, F), Stefan Noesen(OTT 1st round, 2011,F) , Kevin Roy(2012, F), Matt Berkovitz(2014, D), Shea Theodore(2013, D), Marcus Pettersson(2014, D), Brandon Montour(2014, D), Brian Cooper(2012, D), Nicolas Kerdiles(2012, F), Grant Besse(2013, F), Nick Sorensen(2013, F), Jaycob Megna(2012, D), Keaton Thompson(2013, D), Andy Welinski(2011, D), and Andrew O’Brien(2012, D).
The Ducks had split the squad into a white and a black team. The teams in my opinion were not evenly matched. The White team only had a few prominent players (Sorensen, Kerdiles, O’Brien, Megna). While the Black team had several notables(Ritchie, Noesen, Theodore, Montour, Petterssen, Roy). There were two 25 minute halves and the teams did not switch sides after intermission. To be honest, I was really bummed about that part. I really wanted to see the Black team shoot on the goal on my side.
Troy Terry was centering the Black Team’s first line with Nick Ritchie and Stefan Noesen. That line completely dominated the entire game. Terry and Noesen both potted 2 goals apiece while the second line also chipped in 2 goals(Roy and Russel). Kevin Roy got the snazzy goal award for his highlight reel, between the legs, top shelf goal on Jake Hildebrand. No way Jake could have stopped that goal!
White team players that I was most impressed with Saturday:
Nick Sorensen- He put on about 10-15 pounds(maybe more) of muscle since last prospect camp. I barely recognized him. His speed and skating ability have drastically improved. If kids from Sweden can improve in skating that is! Fun fact, Nick has dual citizenship with Denmark and Sweden. His forecheck is strong, he battles hard for the puck and has a good release on his shots. I can see him vying to earn a spot on the Ducks roster this season.
Nicolas Kerdiles- The Texas native will also be vying for a spot on the big squad this coming season. He looked more crisp on the ice and was more defensively responsible and was forechecking better than seasons past. He has a great shot and a nice offensive upside. He does need to work on his consistency still. But that will come with more experience.
Jacob Larsson- This kid reminds me of Hampus Lindholm. A very smooth skating Swede who reads the game very well. He is a strong passer and carries the puck with confidence. He still needs to improve his game away from the puck. On February 14, 2015, Larsson signed a two-year contract extension to remain with Frölunda. He played 30 games on the J20 team and 20 on the big squad. A lot of people wondered why we picked him 27th overall versus picking up a centermen. Wonder no longer. I saw him doing some skating drills after the scrimmage, and this kid was great. He did have trouble learning the drill, but after a couple turns, nailed it. Had great positioning on defense and kept up with the big boys speed and skating wise.
Black team players that I was most impressed with Saturday:
Troy Terry- Anaheim drafted this kid in the 5th round, 148th overall. And they were trying to trade up to pick him earlier. That never happened but the Ducks got their man anyways. I think Troy is this draft seasons “Sami Vatanen”. A sleeper pick that will shock you will how skilled he is. How this kid made it to pick 148, we will never know. Gotta give credit to Martin Madden and the Ducks scouting staff. Troy Terry has committed to the University of Denver for the upcoming 2015-16 season. He is 5’10 and only 160 pounds, but this guy is like lightning out there. Quick and skilled with the puck, he can read the ice well and passes tape to tape. Centering a line with players like Ritchie and Noesen, Troy held his own and was very dynamic every time he touched the puck. He had 2 goals in the scrimmage including one where he crashed the net and banged in a rebound.
Garrett Metcalf- This kid wowed me in net. He is a very hard worker and has had a whirlwind couple of weeks The same week he got drafted 179th overall by the Ducks, he also committed to play college hockey with UMass-Lowell. He is a little overwhelmed(I chatted with his father for a few minutes at the scrimmage) but “having a blast and being a sponge”. He played with the Madison Capitols in the USHL last season with a 3.26 GAA and a SV% of .911 in 33 games. During pregame drills this kid stopped almost everything thrown at him. Even by the likes of Noesen, Sorensen, and Kerdiles. He played the first part of the scrimmage and only allowed one goal(Nick Sorensen).
Shea Theodore- Shea has grown in size and height since last camp(6’2, 183). He won the Defenseman of the year award in the WHL as a member of the Seattle Thunderbirds. He also won gold with Canada for the WJC. He looks more confident this season. He held his own against Nick Ritchie during some defensive drills and had proper positioning on the ice. Improved his forechecking and was more aggressive than in past years. He will be on the San Diego Gulls full time this season and I cannot wait to go and see him play a few games!
Day second of the Prospect Camp Scrimmages is taking place today at Anaheim Ice at 10:30 am! It is free to attend but they do have a suggested $5.00 donation to the Anaheim Ducks Foundation.
Remember to park in the visitor section of the parking structure and take your ticket into the Rink. They validate parking inside at the front desk. They have been sticklers in the 2 hour parking and you do not want a $50.00 parking ticket.
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