Day 1 Review - Mighty Ducks of Anaheim

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by HFNHL Commish, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. HFNHL Commish

    HFNHL Commish Registered User

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    Coming into the 2006 HFNHL Entry Draft, few knew what to expect from the Mighty Ducks. Team GM Matt Gledhill was fairly public in sharing his belief that the incoming class was a below-average one, especially beyond the 12th pick or so. Without any obvious, glaring need at any particular position - although certainly lacking true top-flight forward and goaltending prospects - the Ducks appeared set to approach the draft with a classic BPA mentality. Here's how Day 1 played out:

    Round 1, Pick #17 - LW/C Mike Forney, Thief River Falls (MN) HS

    Ranked 24th in THN's Hot 100, and 26th in ISS' list of the Top 30 skaters in the draft, the selection of Forney signified a bit of a change in strategy for the Ducks as compared to years past. Given a need in goal, plus the team's recent penchant for drafting Finns (Petteri Nokelainen in 2004, Teemu Laakso and Perttu Lindgren in 2005), it would have been reasonable to expect Riku Helenius to be selected with this pick. That said, Gledhill had set forth a mandate prior to the draft that the scouting staff be more willing to accept risks in pursuit of greater rewards. As such, when the Ducks' final draft list was compiled, the 6'2", 185-pound Forney was ranked 13th. One year ago, the Ducks might have selected a more projectable, two-way forward like Ryan White or Jamie McGinn in this position. Instead, the team drafted the first-ever high school player in its history.

    Trade with Columbus - Columbus' 2006 1st for Anaheim's 2006 2nd, 2006 3rd, and 2007 3rd

    A typical draft-day deal where a team drafting at the end of the 1st round doesn't have anyone they're in love with fall into their lap, and thus decides to drop down a bit in the draft in order to accumulate a few extra picks. In this case, the Ducks were happy to oblige the Blue Jackets.

    Round 1, Pick #28 - D David Fischer, Apple Valley (MN) HS

    Just like that, the Ducks drafted the second high school player in their history. Ranked 25th in THN's Hot 100, and the 2006 recipient of Minnesota's Mr. Hockey award (2005 winner was Brian Lee), the Ducks were a little surprised to see a defenseman with Fischer's qualities available late in the 1st round, hence the trade with Columbus. Once again, the Ducks went a little against type in selecting the 6'3", 185-pound Fischer over future University of Michigan teammates Chris Summers and Mark Mitera. In Fischer, the Ducks see a prospect that's able to carry the puck with speed, has a projectable frame, and has top-pairing upside without the defensive question marks plaguing a few other selections. With Niklas Kronwall and Jack Johnson ahead of him in the system, the Ducks should be able to allow Fischer ample time to develop.

    Trade with Carolina - Carolina's 2006 1st for D Tom Poti

    The Ducks and the Hurricanes had been discussing a potential trade involving Poti for quite some time. Given the status of Brian Rafalski and Marek Zidlicky as the team's PP quarterbacks, the Ducks were never entirely comfortable with playing Poti on their 3rd pairing. From a pure talent standpoint, Poti still had a place in the Ducks' top six. That said, with John Tortorella resolute in pairing both Rafalski and Zidlicky with defensive defensemen, Poti figures to be better off in Raleigh.

    Round 1, Pick #30 - RW Michael Grabner, Spokane (WHL)

    Breaking yet more ground, the Ducks used the pick acquired from Carolina to make Grabner the first Austrian drafted in the team's history. Ranked 29th in THN's Hot 100, and 24th in ISS' list of the Top 30 skaters in the draft, Grabner easily led the worst team in the WHL in goals scored, with 36. At the time this pick was made, the Ducks still had one player available to them, Mark Mitera, that was ranked ahead of Grabner on the team's draft list. However, for a team that was expected to have a relatively quiet day, the Grabner selection is representative of the fact that Gledhill's draft strategy was rapidly evolving from the moment the Forney pick was actually made. All told, Grabner is an electrifying scorer with a nose for the net. It will be up to the Ducks staff to help him showcase his talents on a more consistent basis.
     
  2. Dr.Sens(e)

    Dr.Sens(e) Registered User

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    It's interesting Matt, you and I seemed to approach that first round the same way. The guy I really wanted was Summers, but I felt he might drop to the beginning of the 2nd, so I was hoping my trade of the 18th pick (for the 31st and 42nd), would get me Summers at 31, and then my 29th overall pick would land me either Fischer or Clutterbuck, who I was hoping would fall.

    I was tempted to take Fischer or Helenius with my 18th pick, but I felt the trade would get me two players at 31 and 42 who I rated similarly (my biggest risk being Summers got taken).

    In the end, both Clutterbuck and Fischer were taken 27th and 28th, so my gamble failed a bit, and I just took Summers at 29 and Maxwell at 31 (who I also liked). The trade allowed me to get Dennis Persson along with Maxwell though, in stead of just Fischer, who I would have taken at 18th if that trade never came up. I don't mind that swap of 2 for 1.

    In the end, an interesting post by turnbuckle on the prospect board. While it is really just a rumour more than anything for Fischer, it was nice to see Summers rated this high (second hand of course). Woodlief also sees Summers as one of the top 3 d-men, but the upside of Fischer really was tempting at 18.
    http://www.hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=261296
     
  3. Ohio Jones

    Ohio Jones Game on...

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    It comes down to team needs, in a way. I had both Fischer and Summer quite high, but as Matt pointed out, I wasn't in love with either to the extent that I wouldn't be happier to take two (or, as it turned out, three) other players I had in the same range. With an organization gutted by my (foiled!) Cup run, I needed depth in the system, and I wasn't as down on the quality of players as most. There was a lot of parity on the board for me from the late teens to well into the second and even third rounds, so as much as I liked Fischer (who likely would have been my pick had I kept it, although it would have been close with Summers), I liked the idea of getting Ryan + Montgomery (+ ANA 3rd 2007) rather more.

    I was disappointed at not being able to take advantage of Keith's massive pick firesale. Calgary's Matt picked up 41, 50 and 54 for the 26th, and turned them into Anisimov, Swan and Nodl. Looking back at how the draft played out, though, I can't say my results would have changed that dramatically, and this way I have a stake in the ground for next season, after trading what has amounted to both my second and third-round picks in 2007 for depth picks this year.
     
  4. HFNHL Commish

    HFNHL Commish Registered User

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    I wasn't so much down on the draft as a whole, but rather the quality and the quantity of top-end talent available.

    If this draft has a strength, it's probably in its character forwards (guys like Ryan White, Blake Geoffrion, Jamie McGinn, Mike Foligno, Cal Clutterbuck). As I alluded to throughout my original post, I frequently considered drafting guys like White, McGinn, and Mark Mitera. However, once I made the Forney selection, it sort of set the wheels in motion that I was going to make a grab for whatever high-end skill players there were to be had.

    I've never been particularly aggressive in the draft, so in many respects I went against my own sensibilities on Day 1. Jumping in to select Grabner is probably one of the boldest moves I've ever made on draft day. All told, if two of the three players I selected achieve their potential, I'll consider it a major coup.
     

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