With the Ducks holding two picks in the first round (No. 9 and 29) and three in the top 39, the 2019 NHL Draft (June 21-22 in Vancouver) is shaping up to be a significant one for Anaheim. The Ducks are the NHL's most successful team drafting players into the NHL since 2010, having done so without a top-five overall selection. In fact, Anaheim has not selected in the top five since 2005, qualifying for the playoffs in 11 of 14 seasons since then.
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The Ducks have selected 58 players since 2010, with a league-leading 51.7% (30 players, tied with Boston) making it to the NHL (the league average is 38%). Those 30 players have combined to play 4,810 NHL games, led by defensemen Cam Fowler (620) and Hampus Lindholm (447). Furthermore, eight of those 30 players (26.7% percent) have played 250-or-more NHL games, which also leads the league.
As the draft nears, AnaheimDucks.com looks at some of the top-15 ranked North American and European skaters according to the NHL Central Scouting's 2019 final Draft Prospect Rankings. Each day we will feature two players leading up to the start of the draft on June 21.
Position: Left Wing
Height/Weight: 6'2", 192
Last Amateur Club: NTDP (USA U-18)
Final Ranking (NHL Central Scouting): 9 (North American)
In a crowded field on high-end prospects coming out of the US NTDP, Matthew Boldy sticks out for his hockey IQ.
The left wing blends his on-ice intelligence with deft playmaking abilities from the wing, placing him among the highest-rated players heading into next week's NHL Draft.
"He never over-handles the puck and he's prepped and ready to attack for the big shot, flipping a puck to himself or finding a teammate," NTDP coach John Wroblewski told NHL.com. "To me, he's got to be one of the most exciting wingers of this draft. He's a power forward with that scoring touch."
The Milford, Massachusetts native posted 81 points in 64 games with the US NTDP U-18 team this season, finishing second in goals (33) on the stacked squad. He also scored a team-high four shorthanded markers and finished second on the team in power-play goals.
Internationally, Boldy helped the US team capture a bronze medal at the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation's Under-18 World Championship, recording 12 points in seven games.
He finishes his time with the NTDP fifth on their all-time list with 95 assists in 126 games in two seasons.
Scouts and experts point to Boldy's incredible passing, a skill that sets him apart from several others in this class. It's a skill he'll bring to Boston College this fall, with the team anxious to see it in action.
"He has terrific hockey sense. With the puck he can see the whole field. He can curl, turn and hit an open guy," Boston College coach Jerry York told told Corey Pronman, The Athletic's Senior NHL Prospects Writer. "He has great stick skills. He has an uncanny ability to hold onto the puck. He could be a dynamic player."
Boldy also went through a growth spurt this season, adding a few inches and several pounds. The changes improved his skating, a weakness some scouts identified before the season, and helped drive his game forward.
"The growth spurt hasn't affected my skating in terms of being awkward or anything like that," he told Pronman. "I think I've improved my skating a good amount. It's something I've focused on a lot the last few summers."
Experts and coaches see Boldy as a potential impact power forward at the NHL level.
"He has excellent hands and vision," Wroblewski told The Athletic. "He can finish, he can run a power play; he can be a net-front guy. The puck is attached to him."
Height/Weight: 5'11", 180
Last Amateur Club: Kootenay Ice (Western Hockey League)
Final Ranking (NHL Central Scouting): 10 (North American)
With three siblings - including two hockey focused brothers - Peyton Krebs found no shortage of competition at home.
Krebs, one of several skilled draft-eligible centers hoping to hear his name called during the first round of the NHL Draft, credits his competitive mindset to their battles and sibling rivalries.
"Whether it's doing the dishes, there's always got to be that extra word," Krebs said in a recent profile on The Athletic. "We have that fire in our belly that keeps us going. In road hockey. Or working out - 'How much can you lift? How many pull-ups?' Those things. Sometimes we'll play card games and there'll be some chirping going on."
The left-shot center finished the season leading Kootenay with 68 points (19 goals, 49 assists) in 64 games. He also led the team with eight power-play goals.
The numbers stand out considering his team's lack of on-ice success. Kootenay finished 21st out 22 WHL teams, and Krebs routinely faced the opposition's top players.
Internationally, Krebs captained Team Canada at the 2019 IIHF Under-18 World Championship, where he led the team with six goals and finished tied for the team lead with 10 points. He also helped Canada capture gold at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, posting five points in five tournament games. He collected the primary assist on Josh Williams' overtime goal against Team USA in the semifinals of the tournament.
Scouts and experts identify Krebs as a potential play-driving center in the NHL, with an advanced ability to complete passes.
"Krebs is also a fantastic playmaker and one of the best passers in the draft," Pronman wrote in a piece for The Athletic. "He's always looking to make a play and has some of the most creative plays I've seen this season."
Injuries never occur at the right time, and for Krebs, a recent incident leaves him hobbled heading into the first round. He underwent surgery to repair a partially torn Achilles tendon on June 8 following an injury during an on-ice training session. Krebs is expected to make a full recovery.