The Anaheim Ducks had a very strong 2021 draft. They added tons of value to their prospect pool and significantly overshot their draft slot.

Here's a thread explaining what they drafted and the significance...

The Ducks had the 3rd overall pick, took a gamble and selected Mason McTavish. They gambled in the sense that McTavish didn't really play in his draft year (the OHL got wiped out) and it was such a high pick. There's a bit of risk there with so much unknown.
Losing a draft year like this is very impactful and almost unheard of territory. An older top pick like McTavish, their draft year is their most important year to make a sizeable jump in production, giving you the confidence they can succeed in the NHL.
Additionally, McTavish didn't have the pre-draft year numbers to suggest, no matter what happens in his draft year, he's a top 10 pick (like Stamkos, Hall, M. Tkachuk, Matthews, etc.). That adds a bit more risk to the pick.
McTavish likely would have jumped up quite a bit had he been able to play a normal draft year in the OHL but it's impossible to know for sure. But we can make a guess he probably would have looked something like Duchene. If he's below that, it's not great value from a Top 3 pick.
There were some very good bets on the table where there was DY season data to suggest the players could be quite substantial (Clarke, Guenther, Eklund, Hughes).

But what they did after the McTavish pick balanced out the risk associated with that pick.
With their 2nd pick, at 34th overall, they took Olen Zellweger. Small sample set but a dman who registers over a point-per-game in his DY is a very good sign. Most of these players make the NHL and a large majority of them turn into stars.
His production may have fallen off over a whole season. But Zellweger is also one of the youngest players in the 2021 draft and has a huge runway left to improve. Even despite his size, Zellweger is good value as a mid-late 1st. As a second or later, it's a no brainer.
2nd rounders, on average, make the NHL 30% of the time. Zellweger's current chances are 78%. Massive value to obtain this type of player in the 2nd round.
With their 3rd round pick, 66th overall, they took Sasha Pastujov. Pastujov has some significant skating concerns, which is why he fell so far, but 80% of the players that look like Pastujov make the NHL and half turn into stars.
3rd rounders make the NHL 21% of the time. Pastujov's current chances are 77%. Massive value once again.
At the moments both Zellweger and Pastujov were drafted, they each had, respectively, the highest NHLer likelihood of anybody left. The risk of drafting McTavish has now mostly been mitigated. And they're not done!
Their next two picks, Tyson Hinds and Josh Lopina, were lower value bets. Probably not much there. Although, Hinds was traded mid-season in the QMJHL and started to take off. Could see some growth over the years with him.
With their 6th round pick, 130th overall, they selected Sean Tschigerl. Younger player with good production. Perfect sneaky value late pick!
With their 7th pick, 5th round 148th overall, they selected goalie Gage Alexander. Alexander doesn't have a ton of games behind him in the WHL but he's young and very big (two attributes the goalie model likes) with better than average results. He was the 5th ranked goalie at HP.
With their last pick, 6th round 162nd overall, they took Kyle Kukkonen. Another late round great value addition.
Kukkonen is a high school product and you never really know with high school but, this late in the draft, he was one of the very best available options remaining. The chances of hitting on a 6th rounder are 11%, Kukkonen has a much better chance than that.
All told, with the picks that the Ducks allocated to skaters, their draft slot suggested they should walk away with 2 players from this draft whereas the expected NHLers they actually got (based on how they drafted and the model projections) suggest 3 players.
This is with McTavish looking extremely low value because he didn't play in his draft year. Maybe there's 4 NHLers here. Or 3 and a player who gets into 100 games or so.
McTavish could very well hit big but Brandt Clarke, Dylan Guenther or William Eklund in that 3rd overall slot could have turned this draft into extraordinary.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Byron Bader

Byron Bader Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @ByronMBader

30 Jul
1. Los Angeles Kings

The Kings already had the best prospect system in the NHL and they added to it with Brandt Clarke, one of the very best prospects in the 2021 draft. All the system needs is an elite goalie prospect. It's loaded everywhere else.
2. Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks jumped up 5 spots based on what they did at the 2021 draft. Adding Zellweger and Pastujov to an already stocked pool was big! McTavish, having mostly lost his dy, doesn't profile well now but could really shoot up in the coming years too.
Read 37 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!