The Anaheim ducks will look to make the playoffs for the sixth time in a row in the 2017-2018 season. Last year the team was knocked out in the Western Conference Finals by the Nashville Predators. In the Anaheim Ducks 2017-2018 season preview the team looks to be back in the mix once again to contend for their first Cup since the 2006-2007 season.
The Ducks have a quality group of forwards who they will look be more productive than last year’s squad, which finished 18th in scoring . The 2016-2017 season saw Ryan Getzlaf lead the team in points with 73, while the underrated Rikard Rakell lead the team in goals (33) in his third full season. Ryan Kesler is coming off a Selke Trophy nomination for the best defensive forward in the league while recording the second most points on the team behind Getzlaf with 58. With Getlaf and Kesler at center, the middle of the ice looks solid for the 2017-2018 season. On the wing Jakob Silfverberg was productive last year, scoring 23 goals and 26 helpers. Corey Perry can also be counted on to contribute from the wing for the Ducks. While Perry is showing signs of decline, he can still be counted on to put the puck in the back of the net for the team. Perry had his least productive year last season scoring at a 0.65 points per game rate. This was his lowest mark since his sophomore season in 2006-2007. Despite this decline, Perry was third in the team in scoring last year (53 points), and can still be relied on to provide offensive spark.
Anaheim will also look for improved production from Nick Ritchie who had a successful rookie campaign in 2016-2017. Last year the former 10th overall pick posted 28 points in 77 games. Look for him increase his scoring totals this season. The offense looks as though it can still be productive, relying on many contributors
After having to leave one of their young defensemen open in the draft, the Ducks elected to make a deal and trade Shea Theodore to Vegas to ensure that they did not take either Sami Vatanen or Josh Manson, both of whom are key players on the blue line. Theodore suited up for 34 games in the NHL last year splitting time between the big club and their AHL affiliate the San Diego Gulls. Despite the loss of Theodore, Anaheim comes into the league with one of the best D-corps in the league. Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm, and Sami Vatanen are all able to talented D-men. The trio posted point totals of 39, 24, and 20 respectively, all while staying in the positive for plus/minus. Also returning is Josh Manson, who has started to show the impact that he can have at the NHL level. The Hinsdale ,IL native recorder a +14 rating, which lead the team. Rounding out the blue line includes Kevin Bieksa and the ducks 2nd –Round draft pick from 2014, Brandon Montour.
The biggest splash the Ducks made this summer was the signing of Goaltender Ryan Miller from free agency. While Miller is certainly past his prime, he provides a very solid 1B option in net with John Gibson. Miller posted solid stats last season, with a 2.80 GAA and a .914 Save percentage while playing on a Vancouver Canucks team the finished last in the Pacific Division. While John Gibson (.924 SV%, 2.66 GAA in 2016-2017), has certainly established himself as one of the top young netminders in the league, Miller adds more security in the crease should the 23-year-old get injured or go on a cold streak during the year.
Anaheim Ducks 2017-2018 Season Preview: Overall Outlook
The ducks were able to keep all of their top players this summer from being snatched up by Vegas. Although they lost a young defensemen who could prove to be an impact player in Theodore, their blue line is still stacked. The duck have build depth down the middle of the ice and can rely on a slew of players to provide their offense. John Gibson is a top tier netminder and depth was added in the crease with the acquisition of Ryan Miller. Anaheim has a very good chance to finish at the top of the Pacific Division. Our Anaheim Ducks 2017-2018 season preview expects the team to make the playoffs for the sixth time in a row during this upcoming year.
- The Ducks’ signing of Ryan Miller this summer increases the depth in the crease, with two goalies that can play a number one role
- Anaheim’s young and talented defense was able to stay together over the summer, giving the Ducks one of the best blue lines in the NHL
- The team looks deep and has the build to make a deep run in the playoffs