By Kyle Shohara
BUFFALO – After choosing left wing Max Jones (24th overall) and center Sam Steel (30th overall) in the first round last night, the Ducks closed out the 2016 NHL Draft at First Niagara Center with four selections this morning.
Anaheim’s first pick today came in the third round with the 85th overall selection, and the club chose defenseman Josh Mahura from the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. The 6-0, 179-pound blueliner from Edmonton, Alberta was limited to two games in the regular season after suffering a torn MCL and a partial meniscus tear in his left knee. But he returned in the postseason, earning two goals and four points in 17 games with the Rebels.
The Ducks then used two fourth-round selections to draft left wing Jack Kopacka (93rd overall) from the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League and center Alex Dostie (115th overall) from the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Kopacka finished his first full season with the Greyhounds in 2015-16, earning 43 points (20g/23a) in 67 regular season games, and added four points (2g/2a) in 12 postseason contests.
“I’m very humbled, and honored, to be selected by the Ducks,” Kopacka said. “It’s really hard to describe. It’s just starting to settle in. I’m trying to enjoy the moment, taking it all in.”
Kopacka and Jones were teammates in 2011-12, when both played on the Honeybaked Bantam Minor AAA team. “I’m excited to spend some time with him,” Kopacka said of Jones.
A self-described “skilled forward,” Kopacka says he likes dishing the puck, but isn’t afraid to shoot it, either. And when asked about coming to Orange County, the Lapeer, Michigan native admitted his first order of business is clothing-related. “Now I get to go through my closet and get rid of all my [long] pants,” he said. “I love it.”
Dostie 18, ranked second on the Olympiques in regular season scoring, with 73 points (25g/48a) in 54 games. The Drummondville, Quebec native was also second on the Olympiques in postseason scoring, with 10 points (6g/4a) in 10 games.
With their final pick in the draft, the Ducks selected center Tyler Soy in the seventh round (205th overall). The 5-11, 172-pound Cloverdale, British Columbia native led the Royals in goals (46) and ranked second overall in points (85) in 72 games last season. Soy tacked on 12 points (7g/5a) in 13 playoff games. In four seasons with the Royals, Soy amassed 180 points (90g/90a) in 213 regular season games.