It’s been a lackluster season for the Anaheim Ducks as they currently sit in second to last place in the Western Conference with a record of 24-28-7, good for 55pts in 59 games. They are playing decent hockey as of late, however, with a 5-3-2 record in their last 10.
The Ducks have several players set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1st including defensemen Michael Del Zotto and Korbinian Holzer, and Goaltender Ryan Miller. All of these players’ names have emerged in trade talks recently. However, the Ducks have two players with term on their contracts that would be massive acquisitions for any team willing to pay the price, right-shot defenseman Josh Manson and forward Ondrej Kase. Anaheim does not have a 4th or 7th round pick in the upcoming 2020 draft and could look to add those picks back in certain trades.
Statistically, of the Ducks three available defensemen, Manson has by far the highest upside, as his career AB score is -1.47 across five years of data. He registered positive AB seasons as a defenseman from 2014-2017 until he had his worst AB season since his rookie year last year with a -6.27 score. Manson also has solid penalty taken/drawn and giveaway/takeaway ratios given his position, with a 10:6 and 34:17 respectively. As a 28-year old, Manson makes $4.1 million and has two years remaining on his deal. Under new coach Dallas Eakins, Manson is averaging an extra minute and seven seconds of ice time compared to his career average. Despite the current value of defenseman like Josh Manson, Ondrej Kase might be the Ducks’ most valuable asset. In our three seasons of data we have on him, Kase has posted positive seasons in all of them, including a Top 20 league-wide score of +6.66 in 2017-2018. Kase’s career AB score is an outstanding +2.91, and also has impressive taken/drawn and giveaway/takeaway ratios of 5:16 and 26:37 respectively. Kase has a $2.6 million salary as a 24-year old forward and has 1 year remaining on his current deal.
Michael Del Zotto and Korbinian Holzer are somewhat similar players value-wise. Their career AB scores only differ by 0.11 points, as Holzer’s is slightly better at -2.19, compared to Del Zotto’s -2.30,, however, we have five more years of data for Del Zotto. Del Zotto has better taken/drawn and giveaway/takeaway ratios than Holzer at 6:6/12:2, and 25:5/26:2 respectively. Both are set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1st. Goaltender Ryan Miller is also a pending unrestricted free agent and is having a solid campaign with the Ducks this year. Miller currently has a .907 save percentage and a 3.06 goals-against average, with a 7-6-3 record.
The Ducks definitely have some decisions to make in the next several days leading up to Monday’s trade deadline, and it will surely be interesting to see what GM Bob Murray and his group decide to do. More to come.