The Anaheim Ducks are clearly in a rebuilding phase this season. Afterall, they bought out Corey Perry earlier this summer, the team lost Ryan Kesler for the season and the Ducks hired their AHL coach, Dallas Eakins, who is familiar with many of the team’s prospects. Regardless, Eakins has made it clear, that the best players on the ice are the ones that are going to make the team and no favoritism will be given to the young players, according to Elliott Teaford of the Orange County Register.
“Do we all quietly hope our draft picks work out? Yeah,” Eakins said. “We’ve got scouts who’ve put in thousands of miles and countless hours driving around everywhere looking at these players. They’ve got their names on them and our organization has invested in them. But nothing is going to be given here. We’re not just going to shuffle people out of the way and give our young people jobs. They’ve going to have to earn it. We’re not interested at all in any kind of breaking this down and shuffling out real good players and hand the team over to a younger group.”
- The Vegas Golden Knights have a few significant roster battles, but the most intriguing may who wins the third line wing opening, according to Jesse Granger of The Athletic (subscription required). The job belongs to Brandon Pirri to lose as Pirri was brought back with a two-year, $1.55MM deal over the summer. The 28-year-old was impressive in a short run with Vegas last year, scoring 12 goals over 31 games. Many expected Pirri to leave for a better opportunity, only for him to come back. However, Pirri is getting quite a battle from Valentin Zykov, who spent the summer training in Vegas with the team and has been equally as impressive as Pirri. Tomas Nosek has also looked solid and most recently, prospect Cody Glass has shown that he might be ready for a third-line role as well.
- Sportsnet’s Marc Spector reports that the Edmonton Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto is in Bakersfield where he will continue to rehab his post-wrist surgery that he had this summer. Yamamoto, the team’s first-round pick in 2017, has struggled to break through with the Oilers in two separate stints. He appeared in 17 games last year, scoring one goal. Spector also notes that defenseman Logan Day will have to undergo hand surgery and will be forced to miss time. Day spent last season in Bakersfield.
- The Los Angeles Kings are considering keeping defenseman Tobias Bjornfot, one of their first-round draft picks this summer, on their opening day roster, according to The Athletic’s Lisa Dillman (subscription required). The team could be considering keeping him around for a few games before sending him back like they did with Jaret Anderson-Dolan last season. However, the team has been impressed with Bjornfot’s two-way game and head coach Todd McLellan compared the 18-year-old to a young Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
- Another player who could stay with the team would be Arizona Coyotes first-round pick Victor Soderstrom, who The Athletic’s Craig Morgan suggests could remain with the team, much like center Barrett Hayton did last season, to get a feel for the NHL. Soderstrom was the 11th-overall pick in the 2019 draft.