By Thomas Harrington
Noesen has had terrible luck to start his professional hockey career. In his rookie season, he played in two games for the Admirals before tearing two knee ligaments at practice and missing the rest of the regular season. He returned to play in four playoff games at the end of the season. Noesen’s sophomore campaign went better, but he still missed significant time due to injury. In the fourth game of the season, he suffered an achilles tendon injury when his achilles was cut by a skate during a faceoff. The tendon was 95% severed, and he missed the next several months. At the time of his injury, Noesen had scored a goal and three points. Noesen returned to the lineup in mid-February and picked up an assist in his first game back. Overall, Noesen played in 27 games for the Admirals and scored seven goals and 16 points. While not fantastic numbers, considering that Noesen had two major injuries in two seasons, 16 points in 27 games is a very good output for the young winger. If he had been healthy all season, he probably would have led Norfolk in scoring.
Once he returned from injury, Noesen impressed the Ducks enough to earn him his first call-up to the NHL in April and made his NHL debut against the Colorado Avalanche. He played just under seven minutes, but it was still a nice reward for a player who has overcome a lot in his first two professional seasons.
A year ago, I said that I wanted to see Noesen stay healthy and play as much as possible. While that obviously didn’t happen, the fact that he made his NHL debut shows that he was able to improve despite missing so much time. If he had been healthy over the last two seasons, I think that it’s likely he’d be vying for a full time roster spot this season, instead of just trying to be one of the first call-ups to Anaheim when injuries strike.
Noesen is a scorer, and that’s what I want him to do this season. If he can remain healthy, he should be one of San Diego’s leading scorers. He’s got a great shot, is a good passer, and is a good forechecker. Despite missing so much time, he’s still developing quite nicely. If he can stay healthy, he should put together a great season in San Diego. He played in one game with the Ducks last year, and I expect him to play more games in Anaheim this year. He’ll have a chance at a full time roster spot either next year or the season after. There’s no question that Noesen has the talent to succeed as a second or third line winger in the future. Combined with his refusal to give up and how he continues to develop despite missing so much time with injury, speaks very well of the young winger.
Noesen has one more year left on his entry-level contract. He’ll be a restricted free agent next season and I’m sure the Ducks will re-sign him next summer. Despite having what is basically two lost seasons of development, he’s still one of the better offensive prospects in the Ducks’ system and the Ducks aren’t ready to give up on this kid yet. His ability to bounce back from major injuries is a great trait to have, but hopefully it’s something that he won’t have to do again for the rest of his career.
My next, and final prospect update, will be on John Gibson.
We have been tracking the off-season status of the Ducks prospects. If you want more information about a specific prospect, then please visit here: Ducks Prospects: Summer Updates
Follow us Twitter @DucksNPucks !
Like us on Facebook at DucksNPucks !
Follow us on Instagram at DucksNPucks !