Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras (11) shoots against the stick of Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore (27) during the first period at T-Mobile Arena.

The Anaheim Ducks Depth Lines heading into the next season

Truthfully, the Anaheim Ducks had an awful 2023/24 season which took them back in the standings. Finishing 30th overall, however, made it clear the team’s need for depth scoring and playmaking ability, which they have in a forward such as Trevor Zegras and a leadership block on his shoulder after 4 seasons played. What matters most is that half the players on the current Anaheim roster had career years, which should accelerate into next year’s regular season.

For the most part, the young group of forwards and defensemen will have to be more technical according to their coach Greg Cronin, who said the following in an interview with Matt Weller of

There’s a great thing Urban Meyer used to say about the human element. He said humans are limited by laziness, selfishness, and a lack of discipline. That was part of his mantra when he was at Florida. I think you can say that about human behavior in all aspects of life, particularly when you’re pursuing goals. I can say with confidence that 95% of the time our guys competed hard.

Including the following that expresses one of his points:

I do know that we’re in a situation where there’s a lot of young players and their habits have to be dialed in. Some of those habits are like preparation for games, like how they’re preparing, how they’re visualizing, how they’re absorbing pre-game information. A lot of that’s maturity.

The second point being in an example:

I’ll give you an example. If I’m a centerman, I’m going to take a face-off. I better know who the other four centermen are on the other team and what shots they are.

This sheds light as to how the game should be played by the youngsters in general with a simple philosophy going forward, and playing the game according to the system presented by a coach that cares about his players. This is where one would observe the details in a coaching strategy and present the depth of the team in a more detailed manner oneself.

The Anaheim Ducks will reflect upon its roster and prepare for next year

Which aspects of the team will provide an ample amount of depth for the Anaheim Ducks’ current roster?

Start with the first lineup of the roster, which would include Trevor Zegras, not regarding the fact if he should be traded by the management of the club, but as is in the current roster. Zegras is a huge part of the franchise if he is to remain and will provide the team a sense of direction to work with for the general manager and the coaching staff at its best.

According to General Manager Pat Verbeek in the same report as above, he said the following about the players on the roster of the Anaheim Ducks team:

Using the players in different areas of the ice, juggling the lineups a bit, and taking control of who plays where.

During the previous season, the lineups in the roster were used as follows and for the most part did not do the trick for the team, considering the youth that was present and the inexperience on the team in general, which is taking shape after this past season, so to speak. The confidence of head coach Greg Cronin, however, will provide the vision and take charge leadership the young players will need to play a game of hockey at an NHL level.

The Players who should take off in providing depth-level ability scoring for the Ducks roster

The first line of the Ducks roster has become a success for the squad of players available and the team will look to continue to move with this line in particular for scoring purposes. The line consists of youth scoring and a veteran presence, which has been a perfect lineup ingredient to scoring and playmaking since the Chicago Blackhawks days with their respective first line in Toews, Kane, and Hossa.

The first line

Centerman Leo Carlsson, if healthy for the majority of the regular season, has size and speed to his arsenal. Even though he only weighs 194 pounds and is 20 years old. His game is expected to take off with the help of his linemates and the coaching staff, who will work on elevating his gameplay in general.

Left Wing Cutter Gauthier. The 20-year-old was acquired by the Ducks franchise later in the 2023 year, and was a huge success for the team from a depth perspective, he complemented his center teammate quite well in a fashion that this was presumed to be the starting two young forwards for the Ducks organization in NHL games played.

Veteran and Right Winger, Alex Killorn. Is a huge part of this lineup, because of his leadership presence and experience coming from a Stanley Cup pedigree team, Killorn is a vital asset for the first line and the roster in general for guiding the players and giving them a chance to excel themselves.

The second line-up of the Ducks squad

At the center, Trevor Zegras will lead the way for his linemates, who bring superstar scoring and playmaking skills to the team. His ability to move the puck on any aspect of the ice is an advantage the Ducks coaching is doing its best to utilize. Also, bringing a type of game, no one has observed before with his niftyness and grit that comes along with his gameplay is vital to the club.

Frank Vatrano, at left wing, will give another vet presence needed to guide the younger generation of the line and team in specifics. He will be the type of player that will contribute regularly, by being a 20-goal scorer, in most of the regular seasons in games played. Leadership is vital and consistency taught to the younger players is a key factor for the team.

Right-wing, Ryan Strome. Much like his brother he is a solid two-way player on-ice and can provide his team with ample traction to play against. Observing his gameplay, and reading about his stats. He can move the puck with relevance to his game and provide the playmaking the team may need.

The need for the bottom six of the lineup for the Anaheim franchise

In the article of Matt Weller, Pat Verbeek mentioned that the Bottom six of the lineup will need to be worked on and tweaked with more depth as well to compete in an ever-so-competitive hockey league the team plays in. During the interview, Verbeek said:

There are a couple of different elements. Successful playoff teams have a good distribution of scoring from their bottom six forwards. Just take a look at Vancouver. I mean they’ve got guys that, and there’s other teams as well that you can look at that their bottom six forwards are contributing and helping the top six forwards when it comes to having to perform under pressure all the time to provide that scoring. We need to score more goals overall as well to be able to help our team win more hockey games. So I’m looking from that aspect as well.

This aspect of the team will have to be worked with the system that the younger generation of players are being trained with and the fact that the team will be facing a lot of challenges and the need for more of a vet presence, not to mention, a scoring touch from these players. The team will be making changes accordingly and because of a star-studded 2024 NHL Free Agency, it will be interesting to see who management will decide to pursue and bring into the club to address these challenges.

Main Image: © Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

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