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AHL Notebook: Ducks prospects generating attention

Forwards Jones, Terry among talent turning heads in San Diego

by Patrick Williams / NHL.com Correspondent

The Anaheim Ducks are developing plenty of talent at the American Hockey League level, even if it is not reflected in the standings.

Their San Diego affiliate is last in the Pacific Division at 8-11-1-1. If San Diego can pull back into contention, that young talent could get a good AHL playoff run.

Here are a few of the prospects turning heads:

 

Max Jones

Anaheim chose Jones in the first round (No. 24) of the 2016 NHL Draft, and the forward came through a well-worn path with London of the Ontario Hockey League.

Jones, 20, finished his OHL career with Kingston, but played two-plus seasons with London, a program that has had success producing professional players.

He brings size (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) that he is willing to use to assert himself in the offensive zone. The key for him in San Diego is playing time. Injuries limited him to 64 regular-season games during the past two OHL seasons. A thumb injury cost him training camp with the Ducks before he went to San Diego after missing the first two weeks of the regular season.

Jones is a good fit for the hard-nosed Pacific Division rivalries that San Diego always seems to stir up, and he has generated offense as well with 10 points (five goals, five assists) in 18 games.

 

Kalle Kossila

What exactly do the Ducks have with Kossila, a 25-year-old forward who has flirted with a bigger NHL role?

For one, they can take solace that Kossila, a sturdy 5-10, 185, is back after offseason hip surgery that delayed his season debut until Oct. 26. He made up for lost time with three goals in his first two games, which earned him a trip to Anaheim. He scored one goal in eight games for the Ducks in November.

Back in San Diego, Kossila has resumed being a dependable producer. After scoring 21 goals in 55 AHL games last season, he has nine points (four goals, five assists) in 10 games.

 

Sam Steel

The 2016 draft could end up being very bountiful for the Ducks.

Steel, 20, is another young forward (5-11, 186) who has dabbled with the NHL this season, getting into 13 games for the Ducks with three points (one goal, two assists).

Anaheim selected him No. 30 in 2016, and he followed that with a 131-point season (50 goals, 81 assists) for Regina of the Western Hockey League in 2016-17. Last season, as a captain in Regina, he had 83 points (33 goals, 50 assists) in 54 regular-season games. He mixed in plenty of high-pressure experience, winning a gold medal with Canada at the IIHF World Junior Championship and putting together a dominant performance in the Memorial Cup with 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) in five games for Regina.

Anaheim has him in San Diego for now after his early-season NHL stint. He has nine points (five goals, four assists) in 14 games.

 

Troy Terry

Terry, another forward, is familiar to fans beyond Anaheim from his international play with the United States. It is a profile that belies his fifth-round selection (No. 148) by the Ducks in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Terry already brought a varied background with him into his first pro season. In the 2017 World Junior Championship, he emerged as a force with the gold-medal winning U.S. team and had seven points (four goals, three assists) in seven games in the tournament. Last season, while with the University of Denver, he earned a place on the U.S. roster at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, where he had five assists in five games. He wrapped up last season with a National Collegiate Hockey Conference championship at Denver.

Terry, 21, is in his rookie pro season that has included six games for the Ducks. Anaheim elected to assign him to San Diego and the move has paid off for all parties. 

Most of all, time in the AHL is an opportunity for Terry (6-1, 178) to take on a pro schedule after a lighter college workload. His production offensively has been there as well. He scored three goals in his first two games for San Diego, added a four-game goal streak, and his production has weathered San Diego's struggles. He leads the Gulls with 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 18 games.

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