The Anaheim Ducks have been playing well lately. They have a couple of wins in a row after a very bad run of losses. Still, at 11-16-0, they have the third-worst record in the NHL based on points percentage.
They have dealt with some key injuries so far this year to consequential players. One of them is Jamie Drysdale who they extended right before the season started.
Drysdale has missed a lot of hockey lately. He has only played in two games so far this year after only playing in eight last year. Having 10 games played in the last two seasons isn't amazing for his development but he was a sixth overall pick for a reason. He will be great once he starts to play.
He has already made noise in the NHL as he played in 81 games as a 19-year-old in 2021-22. Over those 81 games, he scored four goals and had 28 assists for 32 points which is very good for a teenage defenseman.
The Anaheim Ducks need Jamie Drysdale to become a very good player
The team around him will get better over time but they need him to be a big part of things. A lot of stock has been placed on his future.
On Thursday, the team confirmed that Drysdale will return to the lineup against the Calgary Flames. This is a great thing for them as he will provide a very good boost to their lineup. He is a very good defender when healthy.
Mason McTavish, who was a third overall pick in 2020, will also be rejoining the lineup after missing some time due to injury. He has been very good this year before missing the previous seven Anaheim games so getting him back will help as well.
Once this team gets Trevor Zegras back, they will have their complete cast of stars available as long as nobody gets hurt in the meantime. They have this game against Calgary before one final home game against the Seattle Kraken before the holiday break.
McTavish coming back is big but getting Drysdale back is not something that they have had a lot recently. With Leo Carlsson in the lineup, they are going to have some offensive jam. Things are coming together for them now and they are hoping for some development along the way.