1. Is this the year of Trevor Zegras and company?
If, like me, you have been watching the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship in Edmonton, then you will no doubt have been incredibly impressed by the play of Trevor Zegras.
Especially Anaheim Ducks fans.
Taken with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, Zegras has absolutely lit it up for Team USA and he will be crucial to their hopes of beating Team Canada for the Gold Medal tonight (9:30 p.m. ET).
Zegras is an elite forward with incredibly high upside and, while he’s playing left wing now, he has all the intangibles and the skill set needed to morph into a top-line center for the Ducks down the road.
And, with Anaheim in desperate need of a scoring punch, it wouldn’t be surprise if Zegras joins the Ducks for the last few days of Training Camp and finds himself on the Opening Night roster.
Blessed with speed, a hard-fought competitive side and an ability to both create and finish chances, Zegras could be an ideal fit on Ryan Getzlaf’s wing and that combination could lead to a more potent offense for the Ducks in 2020-21.
Another prospect worth keeping an eye on is Jamie Drysdale, who was taken with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, and he will be going up against Zegras for Team Canada tonight.
Drysdale has impressed for Canada with a plus / minus rating of +13 and, while the Ducks are pretty set on the backend, he could be a breakout star to keep an eye on throughout the season.
Forward Jacob Perreault is another potential prospect that could make the leap to the NHL with Anaheim in 2020-21, and all three have the ability to make an instant impact on the biggest stage.
And, for a team that is still likely a couple of years away from being truly competitive despite their inner-belief, it might be worth giving the likes of Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale a shot and seeing what they are made of so that the front office can make an accurate assessment of what they have in the pipeline.
Because, if the Anaheim Ducks don’t make the jump that they want to in 2020-21, then it could be back to the drawing board in terms of blowing up this roster even more.
But that can be a question for the 2021-22 season.
So, that is the first of our 2020-21 Season Previews and we will have a lot more coming out over the coming days.