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Ducks, Capitals Lead Pack in Top 60 Prospect Rankings

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
By NHL.com

The Stanley Cup fortunes for the Anaheim Ducks and Washington Capitals might not be the same right now, but they have to like where their futures are headed.

The two franchises each had four players in NHL.com's Top 60 prospect rankings, the most of any team.

Three Ducks prospects made it into the Top 60: 2014 first-round pick (No. 10) left wing Nick Ritchie at No. 35; 2011 first-round pick (No. 30) center Rickard Rakell at No. 40 and 2013 first-round pick (No. 26) defenseman Shea Theodore at No. 50.

The top player for the Ducks was goaltender John Gibson, who finished No. 2 in the rankings, and earned first-place votes on two ballots. The 2011 second-round pick (No. 39) gave a glimpse of things to come last season when he had shutouts in his NHL regular-season debut and in his first Stanley Cup Playoff start.

Gibson's selection by the Ducks shows how strong drafting and development are equal parts hard work and good fortune. Anaheim entered the 2011 draft with the No. 22 pick in the first round, but traded it to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for the 30th and 39th picks.

"It was a good draft to look to trade down and get extra picks in the second round," Ducks director of amateur scouting Martin Madden said. "We thought there was some depth to that particular draft and a few of the players we were looking at seriously had a chance to be there in the second round.

"We didn't really want a goalie, per se, but John was at a strong first-round rating from our staff and we debated taking him at 30. ... We were really concerned about one team in particular. They took a goalie but didn't take John. We were ecstatic that he was still there."

The Ducks had two other players receive votes in the Top 60 poll, forwards Nicolas Kerdiles and William Karlsson. Madden said having so many of the team's prospects recognized was a compliment to the scouting staff as a whole.

"Any conversation we have about the success of our scouting staff, it really is a staff effort," Madden said. "I get to direct that, to manage the group, but the guys that do the crossovers, we can't be everywhere. We can't know all the players as well as our area scouts. I rely on my staff to a large extent for many of these players and success would not be possible without the contribution of everybody."

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