We’re back with a fresh prospect update to recap some outstanding performances, World Juniors roster hopefuls, and season-ending injuries among Anaheim Ducks prospects. Here’s the fifth edition of our series updating you on some of the Ducks’ top prospects and recent draft picks from the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
Zegras Among Top NCAA Freshmen
Well, that cold streak didn’t last long. Trevor Zegras was back to his usual point-producing self over Boston University’s last three games. He posted one goal and three assists and was named Hockey East Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week for the second time this season. BU head coach Albie O’Connell had nothing but praise for the Ducks’ ninth-overall selection.
“He was electric tonight. He does some interesting things on the ice. I think he put the puck between his legs and shot it three times tonight.”
(from ‘ Terriers knock off No. 8/12 Northeastern 6-3 in first half finale ’, The Daily Free Press Boston University – 12/8/19).
He’s also one of only four freshmen to average over a point per game (P/GP) in the NCAA this season.
Nick Abruzzese (Harvard) – 1.20 P/GP
Cole Caufield (Wisconsin) – 1.11 P/GP
Nathan Smith (Minnesota State) – 1.07 P/GP
Trevor Zegras (Boston University) – 1.06 P/GP
Zegras was also named to Team USA’s World Juniors Preliminary roster and is expected to play a big role in the World Junior Championship. If he makes the roster, he’ll miss a few games for BU.
Upcoming Games: Dec. 29 vs. Concordia
Groulx Extends Streak to 14 Games
After recording points in all 11 games in the month of November, Benoit-Olivier Groulx continued his hot streak into December. He’s currently riding a 14-game point streak in which he’s posted 10 goals and 15 assists. Since our last update, he has four goals and four assists in four games.
He was named to Canada’s World Juniors Preliminary Roster and has since made it past the first round of cuts. He has a good chance of making the team and would likely play on a line with Halifax teammate Raphaël Lavoie.
Upcoming Games: Dec. 28 vs. Cape Breton
Jack Perbix, Blake McLaughlin and Jackson LaCombe
The Minnesota Golden Gophers split their two games with Ohio State, losing 3-2 on Dec. 6 and winning 2-1 on Dec. 7.
Jackson LaCombe went pointless in the series against Ohio State. He has eight assists in 18 games this season. We’re still waiting for him to get his first collegiate goal.
Blake McLaughlin failed to register a point in either game against Ohio State. He still has three goals and six assists for nine points in 18 games. It was slightly disappointing he wasn’t named to Team USA’s World Juniors preliminary roster. However, you could argue he has played his way out of consideration this year.
Jack Perbix was the only one to pick up a point, registering one assist. He’s now up to two goals and three assists in 18 games.
Upcoming Games: Mariucci Classic on Dec. 28/29 (Bemidji State, Minnesota State, and St. Cloud State)
Jack Badini and Henry Thrun
It’s been a tough stretch for Harvard. After starting the season 6-0, they’ve now lost four straight. Jack Badini was pointless in the last three games while Henry Thrun posted one assist. Thrun’s assist was pretty impressive, as he utilized a fake shot at the blue line to lose his man and fired a cross-ice pass to register a secondary assist.
Upcoming Games: Dec. 28/29 vs. Arizona State
Just like Harvard, Trevor Janicke and Notre Dame were mired in a losing streak of their own. Their streak was at six games before they snatched a 3-0 victory against Penn State on Dec. 14.
Janicke registered two goals over the last five games and sits in a tie for the team lead with seven. It’s been a surprisingly productive season for the freshman.
To add to that surprise, he was also named to Team USA’s World Juniors Preliminary roster. He might be a long shot to make the team, but it’s an accomplishment nonetheless.
Upcoming Games: Jan. 3 and 5 vs. Western Michigan
Matt Berkovitz and Matthew Hill
There is no update yet on why Matt Berkovitz has missed the last four games for Army. We’ll keep you updated when we find out more.
Upcoming Games: Dec. 15 vs. Robert Morris
Matthew Hill participated in the last six games for the Barrie Colts. He went pointless and has five points in 28 games this season.
Upcoming Games: Dec. 19 vs. Sault Ste. Marie
Remember that undisclosed injury that had caused Will Francis to miss the last seven games? Turns out he’s done for the season and had knee surgery.
Dostal Ready For World Juniors
Ilves continued their run of form and have now won seven games in a row. Lukas Dostal has been a massive part of their success winning his last six starts. Since our last update he went 4-0-0 with a .909 save percentage (SV%) and a 2.25 goals against average (GAA). This brings his season totals to a 17-4-1 record, a .923 SV%, and a 1.92 GAA.
He was named to the Czech Republic’s World Junior Preliminary roster and is likely their starter to begin the tournament.
Upcoming Games: Dec. 20 vs. JYP Jyväskylä
Mercyhurst continues to split their goaltending duties, so Garrett Metcalf only started one of their last three games. It was a nice bounce-back game for Metcalf as he only allowed two goals on 37 shots against Robert Morris on Nov. 30. This brought his SV% up to .903 and his GAA down to 3.41.
Upcoming Games: Jan. 3/4 vs. Holy Cross
Tracey Staying in Moose Jaw
Moose Jaw has played seven games since we last checked in on Brayden Tracey. He started December with a five-game point streak and posted three goals and eight assists across seven games. He also earned Western Hockey League Highlight of the Night for his goal against Kamloops on Dec. 10.
He’s now up to 13 goals and 20 assists for 33 points in 21 games. His 1.57 P/GP is third in the WHL. I expected to see him on Team Canada’s World Juniors Preliminary roster, however, he was a notable snub from the list and will remain in the WHL with Moose Jaw.
Upcoming Games: Dec. 27 vs. Regina
If you missed our last update, check it out here! Stay tuned for a fresh update on Ducks prospects from major junior, NCAA, Europe and around the world!
In the meantime, if you want to hear my thoughts on Ducks prospects and the current affairs of the team. Check out The Forever Mighty Podcast for all the latest Anaheim Ducks talk and analysis.