Young standouts looking to become stars


Ducks forward Max Comtois chases the puck during a game against the St. Louis Blues in May. Comtois was the Ducks’ leading scorer last season. (Joe Puetz / Associated Press)

Ahead of the Ducks’ season opener on Wednesday night against the Winnipeg Jets, here are 10 things to know about their 2021-22 campaign.

1. Last year … the Ducks struggled mightily, finishing a distant last in the West Division with a 17-30-9 record and franchise-worst .384 points percentage. It was also the club’s third straight season missing the playoffs, matching a franchise-long drought that hadn’t last happened since 2000-2002.

2. Player to watch … Max Comtois, the 22-year-old forward who led the team in scoring last year with 16 goals and 33 points (he was also one of only four players who had a positive plus/minus rating). While such veterans as Ryan Getzlaf, Adam Henrique and Rickard Rakell will help anchor the forward lines too, it’s youngsters such as Comtois, Trevor Zegras, Troy Terry and Max Jones, plus defenseman Jamie Drysdale, who will likely dictate the direction of the club’s future.

3. In the net … John Gibson, who has established himself as one of the better netminders in the NHL despite the inconsistent roster playing in front of him. Gibson had a career-worst .903 save percentage and second-career-worst 2.98 goals-against-average last season, but he also posted three shutouts (his most since 2017-18) despite facing the eight-most shots per game in the league among goalies with at least 25 starts.

4. Behind the bench … Dallas Eakins, whose name has been splashed across hot-seat watch lists entering the season. After a successful stint coaching the club’s minor-league affiliate, Eakins’ first two seasons with the Ducks have fallen well short of expectations. He holds the worst winning percentage in franchise history among coaches with more than one season in charge.

5. Biggest addition … Good question. A year after making a couple free-agent…

Source : yahoo

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