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Ducks Director of Professional/Amateur Scouting Madden Recaps Draft

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks

Before boarding a flight back to Anaheim, Ducks Director of Professional/Amateur Scouting Martin Madden profiled each of the club's seven draft picks and recapped the 2015 NHL Draft.

Were you able to get the players you wanted with the seven selections in the draft?

Except for one objective we had coming in, which was to trade down out of one of our third-round picks to get [a player] in the fourth round, that would’ve allowed us to get one more player we really wanted. So except for that, we accomplished what we wanted this weekend. We wanted to take the best player available at No. 27, and hopefully that player was going to be a guy we targeted in our top-20, and that happened. Turns out it wasn’t a forward, it was a defenseman, but that’s fine. We turned around and today we addressed the need for depth in the middle in our prospect pool. We got three guys down the middle we’re really excited about. We got a goalie, so that adds to our depth there. We also got a rugged defenseman who brings something different to our defense prospect pool.

What stood out about Jacob Larsson that ultimately led to the club selecting him with the 27th overall pick?

We drafted him because of what we saw on the ice, but having said that, he’s like our other Swedish players. He’s smart, self-aware, self-confident and driven. You can tell he’s a happy person who feels good about himself. It came through in the numerous interviews we had with him over the course of the spring. We’ve got some depth on defense, both in Anaheim and in San Diego. We’ll let Jacob continue to grow as a player and as a person in Frolunda on the big team playing against men. It’s a good environment for him. We’ll take it year to year.

You guys then went heavy on forwards, notably centermen. What was the thought process behind those selections?
If you look at our prospect pool, that’s where we’re the weakest, especially after trading William Karlsson this season. You can move centermen to the wing, but it doesn’t happen very often the other way around. We’ve got some guys we like on the wing. We just needed to address the need for centermen depth in our prospect pool. We did that through the draft, and after the draft we'll do that with a number of invites for our rookie training camp in September.

We’re happy with the guys we ended up with. When we traded down from No. 41 to No. 59 in the Hagelin-Etem trade, we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to get one of the centermen we targeted. We got a little lucky there. We ended up with one of the centers we would’ve considered at that No. 41 spot. We were fortunate.

The Ducks selected Julius Nattinen with the 59th selection. What stood out about him?
He’s a big, smart, skilled player. He’s fast, straight ahead, but needs to work on his agility and mobility a little bit. He’s a really smart player. He sees the ice and has the skill to make plays and score goals.

Madden then gives a brief summary on the remaining five selections
Brent Gates, Jr. is a different situation. We really liked him at the USHL Fall Classic last September, and we were early getting lots of games seen on him throughout the fall. In early January or late December, he broke his leg near the ankle. It was a significant injury, and he had to have surgery. It was a tricky surgery, but we felt really confident at that time with what he was as a player. He had 27 points in 33 games at that point, and he’s a strong two-way player with offensive upside. He’s got good hockey sense and good skill. We did our homework. The injury has healed and he’s cleared to skate. He skated for the first time since January. Everything is going well, and we’re really happy to have landed him in the third round.

Deven Sideroff is a kid who both [Amateur Scout] Glen Cochrane and [Head Scout] Jeff Crisp really liked out of Kamloops. At this point, he’s still physically immature, but he’s continuing to grow. He’s almost at six feet. His progression throughout the season was steady and impressive, both in terms of performance and production. He had a good Under-18 with Team Canada in April. That cemented our view of him as a future offensive player at the pro level. He’s got some ways to go in terms of physical strength, but we’ll take our time with him. He’s a great kid - a hard-working kid. In time, he’ll be able to add the mass and strength he needs.

Troy Terry is another kid who progressed throughout the season and continued to grow. He came into the U.S. National Development Program as a 17-year-old, but he wasn’t there last year as a 16-year-old. That’s a tight-knit group. Those kids spend two years together, and that first year is huge. It’s the first time leaving home, and they all get together and go through that experience as a group. Troy had to come in and fit in as an outsider and earn the trust of his teammates and his coach. As the season progressed, his responsibilities increased and he continued to grow physically, as well. He’s a smart, skilled offensive centerman who is also a really good penalty killer. He was the first penalty killer they used. He’s a really smart kid. We were sweating a little bit for those 60 picks between our third-round pick and his pick. We actually tried to move up a number of times, but it turned out we didn’t need to. We weren’t able to, and we didn’t need to. We’re happy.

Steven Ruggiero is a big, strong and athletic defensive defenseman. We don’t have many guys like him in our system. Even though we were looking away from defensemen after taking Larsson yesterday, we couldn’t pass Ruggiero up. No forward in our mind compared to him at that point in the draft, so he brings something different to our prospect pool.

As for Garrett Metcalf, we were going to take a goalie in the sixth round regardless. We had a number of guys targeted, but he was the one we felt most comfortable with. We think he’s going to be able to grow at UMass-Lowell under good coaching.
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