The last time the Ducks had the ninth pick of the first round of the draft is back in the 1994 draft when the Ducks selected Hall of Famer Paul Kariya. So 9 is a lucky number in the eyes of the Ducks fans so it is possible that the Ducks 2019 draft pick, Trevor Zegras, has a bright future in front of him.
With the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, the Ducks select Trevor Zegras from the U.S. National Team Development Program’s Under-18 Team (NTDP). The six-foot, 173-pound center was a driving force on the NTDP U-18 team during the 2018-19 season, racking up 87 points (26g/61a) in 60 games. His 61 assists ranked second on the team behind Jack Hughes (78).
Zegras, 18 (3/20/01), recorded 100 career assists in 116 games with the NTDP U-17 and U-18 teams from 2017-19 – the fourth-most in the program’s history. Only Hughes (156), Jeremy Bracco (122) and Clayton Keller (118) had more.
“I really wanted to go to whatever team wanted me the most,” Zegras said. “I’m thrilled with Anaheim. I’m really happy to be a Duck.”
On the international stage, Zegras posted six points (2g/4a) in six games to help Team USA earn gold at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and finished second among all skaters in assists (nine) to help the United States earn a bronze medal at the 2019 Under-18 World Championship.
There are few players in the draft as well-rounded as Trevor Zegras; he really is a guy who can do it all. Offensively, his biggest strength is his anticipation and feel for the game; he’s an outstanding playmaker who loves to set up his teammates, especially in creative ways thanks to his high skill level with the puck on his stick.
Though hardly a shoot-first guy, Zegras has a strong shot, enough to keep opposing goaltenders honest. He also isn’t afraid to mix it up a little; he will gladly lay the body when the opportunity presents itself to separate the puck from an opposing player.
He is also very good defensively for his age; this is another area where his high IQ is on display. In the defensive zone, he does an excellent job making reads and getting into passing lanes to make deflections and interceptions. He is also strong on the forecheck, thanks again to his ability to anticipate the play well.
Zegras does project as a center, but he has the experience and can play on the wing if the coach decides to move him around during a season. Being a flexible or 2-way player is what could help him early in his NHL career and could be an indicator as being a regular player on the roster.
Things to improve on
There are few weaknesses in Zegras’ game, but probably the most glaring one, a common one for teenage prospects, is his frame. At only 173 pounds, he will need to bulk up some in order to truly realize his potential at the pro level.
While hardly a bad skater, his speed and quickness is something that could be improved upon going forward.
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Sources are all by The Anaheim Ducks/ anaheimducks.com
Source: Kyle Shohara- Ducks Select Zegras with Ninth Overall Pick in 2019 NHL Pick in 2019 Draft
Photos by Jonathan Hayward