As the NHL Draft finished today, the Ducks are looking forward to new beginnings with some fresh additions to their team, and continued success with some of the veterans returning for the 2009-2010 season.
One of the most exciting returns is veteran Teemu Selanne, playing his 18th season in the NHL and looking for his second Stanley Cup with the Ducks. Another returning player is defensemen Scott Niedermeyer, who had 14 goals and 45 assists last year in the regular season.
But with the veterans comes a whole line of rookies. 18 year old defenseman Matthew Clark from the Ontario Hockey League was added to the roster today, as was 18 year old goaltender Igor Bobkov from Russia. 18 year old defensemen Sami Vatanen, 19 year old right wing Radoslav Illo, and 18 year old defensemen Scott Valentine were also drafted.
Another acquisition was 18 year old center/right wing Kyle Palmiere of New Jersey. Palmiere has been ranked as the 20th best player among North American skaters, and helped lead the national Under-18 team to a bronze medal in the World Championships.
Also new to the Ducks franchise is Peter Holland, from Caledon, Ontario. He was the Duck's first pick of the 2009 draft (15th overall), and has been playing in the Ontario Hockey League with Guelph.
Sadly, Chris Pronger left the Ducks this season, after three years of hard work and one Stanley Cup Championship. In return for his trade, the Ducks acquired right wing Joffrey Lupul and defensemen Luca Sbisa from the Philidelphia Flyers. Lupul returns to the Ducks after six seasons with the Edmonton Oilers and Philidelphia Flyers. During that time, Lupul has proved to be a force to be reckoned with when he scored a personal-high 28 goals in the 2005-2006 season, and earned 50 points in the 79 games he appeared in during the 2008-2009 season. Sbisa will play his second season in the NHL with the Ducks after he was drafted last year to Philidelphia. He appeared in 39 games including one Stanley Cup Playoff game last season for the Flyers.
We're all looking forward to a fantastic season for the Anaheim Ducks, and we're all very excited for new beginnings with experienced veterans. Maybe this year will be the year!
Lets Go Ducks!