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September 23, 2013
Top 10 Prospects 2013
Anaheim Ducks

by Corey Pronman

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Full list of NHL Organizational Rankings

Anaheim Ducks Top 10 Prospects

1. Hampus Lindholm, Defense
2. William Karlsson, Center
3. Rickard Rakell, Right Wing
4. Stefan Noesen, Right Wing
5. Sami Vatanen, Defense
6. Kevin Roy, Left Wing
7. John Gibson, Goaltender
8. Shea Theodore, Defense
9. Peter Holland, Center
10. Nicolas Kerdiles, Left Wing

Organizational Ranking: 4th

System Overview

Anaheim boasts one of the best systems in hockey. They may not have an elite prospect, like Tampa Bay does with Jonathan Drouin, or the Islanders have with Ryan Strome, but they have a high-end anchor in Hampus Lindholm, to go along with a very strong top tier of prospects. The depth in Anaheim's pipeline is also very strong at every position. With young players like Cam Fowler, Jakob Silfverberg, Kyle Palmieri, Emerson Etem, and Devante Smith-Pelly not qualifying as prospects, it is clear the future for the Ducks is pretty bright.

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1. Hampus Lindholm, Defense
2011-12 Ranking: 5th
Date of birth: 01/20/1994
Age: 19
Height: 6'3''
Weight: 195
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 44 GP, 1 G, 11 P (Norfolk, AHL)
Acquired: First round, sixth overall in 2012 by Anaheim

Year in Review: Lindholm had some very good flashes for a teenager in the AHL, but concussion issues really derailed his season around Christmas.

The Good: Lindholm is a very well-rounded defenseman. He is a high-end skater who moves great in all directions, with a smooth stride and a powerful burst from each step. His best tool is his hockey sense, as Lindholm displays great awareness in every zone. He makes good defensive stops, he outlets the puck well, and he has the offensive knowledge to create chances and make difficult plays. He is also a decent-sized player who will use his body. Lindholm is not dynamic with the puck, but he has solid hands and a very good feel of what to do with the puck in every situation.

The Bad: Lindholm's shot could still use work, as he is not really dangerous in that regard. His injury issues regarding concussions were concerning as well. He still needs some more time to adjust to the pro game, so he can excel at the AHL level.

Projection: He could be a top pairing defenseman.

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2. William Karlsson, Center
2011-12 Ranking: 3rd
Date of birth: 01/08/1993
Age: 20
Height: 6'0''
Weight: 176
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 50 GP, 4 G, 28 P (HV71, SHL)
Acquired: Second round, 53rd overall in 2011 by Anaheim

Year in Review: Karlsson had a pretty solid season, as he increasingly earned more responsibility in the SHL, where he was a top U20 player in that league. He also was the number center for Sweden's World Junior team.

The Good: Karlsson is a high upside forward with two-way ability. He has what one NHL scout describes as "outstanding hockey sense" in regards to his great vision, offensive creativity, and defensive awareness. He can create and control the puck very well, with a high level of puck skills to let him avoid checkers and pull off the occasional highlight reel move. Karlsson is a hard worker who gets back and will take his checks effectively.

The Bad: His skating still is not too great, and he is certainly below average in that area. Karlsson still needs to bulk up a lot to make the next step in pro hockey so he can maintain possession better at even strength, while winning more battles.

Projection: He could be a great second line center.

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3. Rickard Rakell, Right Wing
2011-12 Ranking: 1st
Date of birth: 05/05/1993
Age: 20
Height: 6'1''
Weight: 191
Shoots: Right
Statistics: 40 GP, 21 G, 44 P (Plymouth, OHL)
Acquired: First round, 30th overall in 2011 by Anaheim

Year in Review: Rakell got some brief time in the NHL, was a top-six forward for Sweden at the World Juniors, and was a notably above-average player at both ends in the OHL.

The Good: Rakell is a pretty good all-around forward who can play center or the wing effectively. He is a high-end puck handler who can make difficult, flashy plays and create scoring chances out of nothing due to his skill level. Rakell is a hard-working player at both ends who plays good defense, and at the OHL level, he showed that he could log tough minutes. Rakell also will win board battles at a decent rate. He has pretty good vision as well.

The Bad: Rakell can still force plays, and he has some slight improvements to make in his decision making. His speed is roughly average as well, and he can still continue to gain strength.

Projection: He could be a good second line forward who fills a variety of roles.

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4. Stefan Noesen, Right Wing
2011-12 Ranking: 7th (OTT)
Date of birth: 02/12/1993
Age: 20
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 205
Shoots: Right
Statistics: 51 GP, 25 G, 53 P (Plymouth, OHL)
Acquired: Trade from Ottawa, first round, 21st overall in 2011 by Ottawa

Year in Review: Noesen's scoring rate dipped from the season before, but he again looked like a good OHL player, and he was a go-to guy for Plymouth on offense. He was part of Ottawa's trade for Bobby Ryan.

The Good: Noesen is a very good offensive player. His hockey sense is above average, if not high end. Noesen makes a lot of good plays with the puck, as he processes the game quickly, has great vision, and knows how to be a starting point for scoring chances. He has become more confident with the puck, and he makes better plays in one-on-one situations. Noesen has a great shot as well, and all these qualities allow him to be very effective from the point on the power play. He works hard, grinds out battles, and drives the net.

The Bad: Noesen's skating has improved, but he is still about average in that area, with a slightly below-average top gear. His defense needs work, and he needs more strength.

Projection: He could be a quality second line power winger.

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5. Sami Vatanen, Defense
2011-12 Ranking: 6th
Date of birth: 06/03/1991
Age: 22
Height: 5'10''
Weight: 185
Shoots: Right
Statistics: 62 GP, 9 G, 45 P (Norfolk, AHL)
Acquired: Fourth round, 106th overall in 2009 by Anaheim

Year in Review: Vatanen had a great first season in North America, as he was named a First-Team All Star in the AHL.

The Good: Vatanen is a fantastic skater with the four-way mobility and great top speed to be a real threat with the puck. He is so elusive in his own end; he can lead many rushes and he stays with quick forwards well. He is very skilled, and makes a lot of offensive plays. Vatanen has a good shot from the point. He is small, but he wins a decent amount of battles due to his great intangibles and on-ice work ethic.

The Bad: Vatanen's size, especially as a defenseman, is his most notable weakness. At times, he struggled with the level of physicality in the AHL. His defense has improved, but he can still make some mistakes in his own end.

Projection: He could be a good second pairing defenseman.

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6. Kevin Roy, Left Wing
2011-12 Ranking: Unranked
Date of birth: 05/20/1993
Age: 20
Height: 5'10''
Weight: 170
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 29 GP, 17 G, 34 P (Northeastern, NCAA)
Acquired: Fourth round, 97th overall in 2012 by Anaheim

Year in Review: Roy was one of the top freshmen in the country, leading Northeastern in scoring and being named to his conference's All-Rookie team.

The Good: Roy has a very high level of offensive skill. He has very quick hands, as his movements are rapid and unpredictable, and he possesses a good level of creativity. Roy plays with good pace, and shows above-average to plus vision as well. He is an agile skater, and combining that with his hands can make him a pretty tough player to check for defensemen. He has a lot of flash to his game, as he will make difficult plays and generate offense out of nothing.

The Bad: Roy is a small, slight player who may struggle physically at the pro level. He can try and do too much at times, forcing plays. His defensive positioning could improve as well.

Projection: He could be a good second line forward.

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7. John Gibson, Goaltender
2011-12 Ranking: 10th
Date of birth: 07/14/1993
Age: 20
Height: 6'3''
Weight: 208
Catches: Left
Statistics: 27 GP, .928 SV% (Kitchener, OHL)
Acquired: Second round, 39th overall in 2011 by Anaheim

Year in Review: Gibson had a fantastic season, as he was named the World Juniors MVP and a second team OHL All-Star. He was also a top goaltender at the World Championships, where the USA won bronze.

The Good: Gibson is a very good all-around goaltender. A big man, he covers up a lot of the net and squares up a ton of pucks due to his great hockey sense. Gibson's anticipation, quick reads, and knowledge of how to position and move around in the net make him very tough to beat. He has good athletic skills, as his feet are quick, and he has a great glove hand. Gibson handles the puck well, and he makes quick decisions.

The Bad: Gibson does not have a glaring weakness. He could get a little stronger, and his side-to-side athleticism is not a standout area, either.

Projection: He could be an above-average starting goaltender.

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8. Shea Theodore, Defense
2011-12 Ranking: N/A
Date of birth: 08/03/1995
Age: 18
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 178
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 71 GP, 19 G, 50 P (Seattle, WHL)
Acquired: First round, 26th overall in 2013 by Anaheim

Year in Review: Theodore was one of the top scoring defensemen in the WHL, and he also played top-four minutes in Canada's U18 gold medal win.

The Good: Theodore is a toolsy offensive defenseman. He is a very good skater with a great stride and a really powerful first step. His ability to evade pressure and move well in every direction is impressive. Theodore is also a high-end puck mover who has the instincts to make a lot of good plays. He is calm under pressure, hits his targets through tight lanes, quarterbacks a power play well, and has solid puck skills. Theodore has a good shot, to boot.

The Bad: Theodore's defensive and physical games are his most notable issues. He can be a bit of a liability in his own end in terms of positioning. He also is not the toughest player, and he needs to bulk up a fair amount.

Projection: He could be a good second pairing defenseman, but he carries above-average risk on his projection.

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9. Peter Holland, Center
2011-12 Ranking: 7th
Date of birth: 01/14/1991
Age: 22
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 190
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 45 GP, 19 G, 39 P (Norfolk, AHL) / 21 GP, 3 G, 5 P (Anaheim, NHL)
Acquired: First round, 15th overall in 2009 by Anaheim

Year in Review: Holland had another good AHL season, as he was a very quality scoring forward. He was below average in his 21 NHL games.

The Good: Holland is a gifted offensive player. He is very skilled with the puck, with the quick movements, hand-eye coordination, and offensive knowledge to make a lot of individual plays. Holland has good vision as well. With his ability to create space, thanks to his speed and hands, he can put himself in good positions to set others up. He has gotten stronger, and he has shown more value in his physical game.

The Bad: Holland has really improved his all-around game, but his defense and game-to-game effort can still be issues.

Projection: He could be a second line forward.

10. Nicolas Kerdiles, Left Wing
2011-12 Ranking: 8th
Date of birth: 01/19/1994
Age: 19
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 178
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 32 GP, 11 G, 33 P (Wisconsin, NCAA)
Acquired: Second round, 36th overall in 2012 by Anaheim

Year in Review: After missing the start of the season due to NCAA eligibility issues, Kerdiles had a very strong season, where he was a top freshman.

The Good: Kerdiles plays with a lot of pace in his game. He is an above-average skater who works really hard, displaying a lot of energy on every shift. He is a smart player in all ends of the ice, as he has the offensive instincts and vision to create chances and make quick decisions. He is aggressive on the forecheck, and he delivers quality hits.

The Bad: Kerdiles has some tweaking to do in his game. He can force some plays, his skill level is only average, and his defensive positioning could be improved a little. He also needs more bulk.

Projection: He could be a second line winger.

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The Next Five

11. Frederik Andersen, Goaltender: Andersen was really impressive in the AHL. He is a big goalie with clearly above-average athletic tools.

12. Nick Sorensen, Right Wing: Sorensen is a fast, skilled, hard-working winger who can do a lot when healthy, but that remains an issue.

13. Antoine Laganiere, Left Wing: Laganiere is a big winger with really impressive puck skills, and he can win battles. His skating is below average, however.

14. Max Friberg, Right Wing: Friberg trended backwards last season, but with his skill and finishing ability, there is still hope that he can turn it around with a good AHL season.

15. Steven Whitney, Right Wing: Whitney is small, but he has good speed, hands, and vision to go along with great intangibles. He was one of the top players in his college conference.

The Sleeper: Miro Aaltonen, Center

Aaltonen was really impressive in international play, and with his very good puck possession tools, he could be a nice late round value pick. The small forward physical game will be his major obstacle to overcome.

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Anaheim Ducks Organizational Top 10

Players 22 or under as of 09/15/2013 or still considered a prospect as defined here.

1. Cam Fowler, Defense
2. Hampus Lindholm, Defense
3. Jakob Silfverberg, Right Wing
4. Kyle Palmieri, Right Wing
5. William Karlsson, Center
6. Rickard Rakell, Right Wing
7. Emerson Etem, Left Wing
8. Stefan Noesen, Right Wing
9. Sami Vatanen, Defense
10. Kevin Roy, Left Wing

Fowler struggled last year, but one underwhelming half season still does not make you forget his great previous season and his tremendous talent level. Silfverberg was a key part of the Bobby Ryan trade. He is a hard-working player at both ends, with solid offensive skill and a big shot. Palmieri was average in the NHL last season, but he has continued to develop and improve himself exponentially over the years, so it is hard to doubt that he can continue to do so. Etem arguably was more impressive in the NHL than the AHL. He is an elite skater with a big shot, but he still has a lot to work to do outside of those areas.

Corey Pronman is an author of Hockey Prospectus. You can contact Corey by clicking here or click here to see Corey's other articles.

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