Which young Ducks are close to the pond?

By Jamie Randolph

Let’s take a look and see which ducks prospects have a chance at sticking with the big club this year.

Maxim Balmochnykh: LW-Cincinnati(AHL)– 65GP -6G -9A -15Pts

Maxim is a player that would have already been in the NHL if he had a proper work ethic. Maxim is at crossroads, two years ago he was being compared to Pavel Bure, now he can’t even score in the AHL. This is Maxim’s last chance and i’m betting he makes the most of it but I could be wrong. Flip a coin.
Prediction: AHL-NHL

Ilja Bryzgalov: G-Togliatti(Rus)34GP – 0.912 SP% -1.87GAA

Ilja has all the tools to be an impact rookie this year, the only problem is that the the ducks are set in goal with Steve Shields and J.s Giguere. Unless Shields or Giguere are injured for a long period of time Bryzgalov will probably play in the AHL this year.

Stanislav Chistov:RW Avangard Omsk (RUS) 24GP – 4G -7A – 11Pts

Chistov could produce in the NHL this season but it would be a wise move to give the 18 year old another year of development. I think Chistov would profit most playing in the AHL but he will most likely end up staying in Russia for another season.
Prediction: Russia

Jonathan Hedstrom:RW Lulea (SWE) 46GP – 9G – 19A -28Pts

Jonathan needs to come to north america and make the transition to our style of play, although it shouldn’t be difficult because he plays a physical style of hockey. Will probably stay in Sweden for another season.

Jay Legault:LW Cincinnati (AHL) 57GP – 18G – 19A – 37Pts

Jay is a solid player who would make the ducks if he was a right winger. Jay has a good scoring touch to go along with his physical play. Could turn out to be another Mike Leclerc, but we already have one.
Prediction: NHL-4th liner

Andy Mcdonald: C-Cincinnati 46GP – 15G -25A – 40Pts

Andy had good numbers in the AHL last year. Could be this years Steve Reinprecht. A good camp could land him a job, if not should be one of the best players in the AHL.
Prediction: AHL

Alexei Smirnov: C-Dynamo (RUS) 29GP – 2G – 0A – 2Pt

Alexei got little ice time last year playing for a veteran team but on occasion he still showed why he was drafted 12th overall in last years entry draft. Alexei needs to come to North America and improve his work ethic, if he does both does things this year he will win the Calder in 2002-2003. What he does this season will make him or brake him.

Prediction: Russia