Saturday September 18th marks the return of hockey to Anaheim, as the Ducks will take part in the first day of training camp. It means fall is almost here, the exhibition season is only a couple days away, and there will be alot of battles for roster spots taking place.
First before we get into that, let me link you to the training camp roster
44 players will participate in camp
Also for reference here's a link to all players under contract, this is important because the Ducks are sitting on the NHL's 50 contract limit.
This is important because the Ducks have invited two players, Stephane Velleux and Joe DiPenta. DiPenta is not expected to make the team, but Velleux I believe has an excellent shot as the Ducks lack quality penalty killers and energy type guys for the bottom 6.
Now whos roster spot will he be after you say? Well let's begin eliminating players.
Ryan, Getzlaf, Selanne, Perry, Koivu are all locks for making the team.
Blake, and Marchant are also good bets, Blake could still be traded but it seems unlikely.
Chipchura seemed to solidify a spot at the end of last season, Aaron Voros was acquired to add some much needed size so they appear to have good shots at cracking the roster.
So that's 9 guys right there. Matt Beleskey was just rewarded with a 2 year extension and played very well last year, he has to have an inside track on spot number 10. George Parros is assured of a roster spot, so that's 11.
That means a bunch of guys will be fighting for 2 or 3 positions. Troy Bodie did a lot last year to make a case for making this years team. So did Dan Sexton but he will not be on the team in a defensive role, if the Ducks go to 3 scoring lines, then he has a very good chance of playing on opening night.
One player to watch for will be Brandon McMillan, nobody is talking about him but he plays the type of game that could get him in the pros sooner rather than later. He's a speedy player with a high hockey IQ and decent hands. He may not be big enough yet but he caught my eye at the rookie tournament, remember everyone the ducks badly need to improve their penalty killing and he's a kid who could really help in that area. Nicolas Deschamps is also a guy with a lot of two way upside but I do not think his game is refined as McMillans at this time.
Nick Bonino got a look last year but he needs some seasoning still, he has good size and talent level but needs to either get faster, or get stronger(optimally both) before he becomes an impact player at this level.
Peter Holland, Devante Smith-Pelley, Emerson Etem, and Kyle Palmieri are not expected to seriously challenge for roster spots, though I'd say of the 4 Palmieri has the best shot because he is a truly skilled offensive player with top end skating ability who isn't afraid to muck it up, if he has a good camp the Ducks have the option of sending him to the AHL, instead of the OHL where he is eligible to play as well.
Bob Murray also went on record Friday stating Bobby Ryan will see some time at center which hints at an attempt to create 3 scoring lines. I am not a fan of this personally and don't see it lasting very long so in my attempt to project the forward group he is staying at wing but at the same time the ducks lack the components for a true checking line so I can see the logic behind this.
ADUS Projected forwards:
Getzlaf, Perry, Ryan, Koivu, Selanne, Blake, Marchant, Chipchura, Beleskey, Parros, Voros, Velluex, Bodie, Carter
Part two, I will be projecting the goalies and defensemen