ANAHEIM -- Maxime Comtois could have landed just about anywhere in the NHL. Every team except the Minnesota Wild and Washington Capitals had the opportunity to pick the 18-year-old left wing before the Anaheim Ducks selected him No. 50 in the 2017 NHL Draft.
Comtois had 51 points (22 goals, 29 assists) in 64 games for Victoriaville of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season, a drop from the 60 points and 26 goals he had in 62 games the season before. That dip caused Comtois to wait longer than expected to hear his name called at the draft in Chicago, but his slide may have ended at the ideal spot.
"[Anaheim] is an outstanding organization, it's a winning organization," Comtois said at Ducks development camp this month. "They make the [Stanley Cup Playoffs]. They do long runs every year. The fans are awesome here. They just showed up for a scrimmage."
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Comtois (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) fits the mold of several players in the Anaheim organization. He's big and strong yet light on his feet, effective in the corners and disruptive in front of the net. He also has soft hands that allow him to score from a variety of angles.
Those were the qualities that made Ducks forwards Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler and Corey Perry first-round picks in the 2003 draft and helped carry them through all-star careers.
That heavy style of play has been a trademark of the Anaheim organization dating to its Stanley Cup championship in 2007. Comtois said he is looking forward to more chances to show he's comfortable and effective playing that way.
"When I watch the Anaheim Ducks, I look up to the guys like Perry, Getzlaf, Kesler, those guys," Comtois said. "Big bodies that can skate, can create some offense and also play defensively."
Comtois paid close attention to another forward during the four-day development camp. The Ducks drafted Max Jones in the first round last year (No. 24), and he had 88 points (45 goals, 43 assists) and 171 penalty minutes in 96 games for London of the Ontario Hockey League the past two seasons.
"We look a little bit alike," Comtois said of Jones (6-foot-3, 203). "We play the game the hard way. I look up to him. He's a really good player. That's why he got drafted in the first round."
Comtois also didn't have to look far for someone to hang out with during down time. Ten spots after he was drafted with Anaheim's first pick, the Ducks selected forward Antoine Morand, Comtois' best friend since they played on the same bantam team when they were 12 years old. They played three seasons together before going their separate ways the past two.
"It was amazing to be drafted together and an amazing day for us," Comtois said. "It's always nice to have your best friend with you, even in the camp. Sometimes it's tough to get in and know what to do, so it's nice to have some moral support. We enjoy our time together and we can't wait to be back."